PSG through as group winners

UEFA Europa League
15/12/2010

Paris Saint-Germain were held to a draw in their final Europa League group game away to Karpaty Lviv but the result proved good enough for the Ligue 1 side to go through to the last 32 as group winners.

Wednesday, 15 December

UEFA Europa League Group J

Karpaty Lviv 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain

Paris had already qualified for the next round prior to this trip to freezing western Ukraine, but they needed a win against the group's whipping boys in order to be sure of finishing on top of the section and thereby setting up an easier tie when the draw is made on Friday in Switzerland. Any slip up would leave the way open for Sevilla or Borussia Dortmund to snatch first place with a win in the other game in Spain.

Coach Antoine Kombouaré was looking for his side to continue their impressive run of eleven matches without defeat in all competitions, but with important league games still to come before Christmas, he decided to rest several regular starters. While Nene, Mamadou Sakho, Guillaume Hoarau and Claude Makelele were all left behind in the French capital, there were outings for Grégory Coupet in goal, Sammy Traoré in defence and Tripy Makonda in midfield.

Chasing their first point in Group J after five successive defeats, Karpaty started off well, and Makonda was forced to clear a Danilo Avilar header from a corner off his own line. However, the visitors came back into the contest and got their noses in front shortly before half-time, when a long ball from Marcos Ceará was accidentally turned into the path of Peguy Luyindula by Artem Fedetskiy. Luyindula needed no second invitation from close range, finishing coolly past Andriy Tlumak.

If that goal appeared a little harsh on the hosts, they made up for it by pulling back level before the break. Fedetskiy atoned for his earlier part in PSG's opener by netting from a long-range free-kick, although Coupet, who should have stopped the shot, was badly at fault.

Chances were few and far between after the restart, and despite attempts from Avilar, Fedetskiy and Alexander Guruli, Paris never really looked like conceding another. Instead, they held on for a draw that proved good enough for them to win the group as news filtered through that Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund had drawn 2-2 in Spain.

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