PSG extend unbeaten run with classy Shakhtar win
KIEV: Defender Dario Srna scored a late own goal from a shot by Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Paris Saint-Germain wrapped up a 3-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Serge Aurier struck an early goal in his first Champions League appearance before David Luiz added the second from a corner as PSG stayed level with Real Madrid at the top of Group A on a maximum six points.
The Parisians extended their unbeaten run to 18 games in all competitions since April’s loss to Barcelona in last season's quarter-finals.“We managed to finish with a clean sheet though Shakhtar grew in quality and there were spells when we were close to conceding a goal but finally managed to extinguish their passion with the third goal," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said.
"On the other hand, I'm glad to have scored three and it means there was a good balance between the defence and attack”, he said in a flash TV interview.
Ivorian international Aurier, who stepped in to replace Gregory van der Wiel at right back, pounced on an exquisitely curled left cross from Maxwell at the far post to head in a quick opener seven minutes from the start. Classy PSG stunned the hapless home side in the 23rd minute when Angel Di Maria delivered a corner into the area and David Luiz beat his marker to send a clumsy volley into the top corner with his knee.
Di Maria himself had a clear opportunity five minutes later when he chipped the ball over the keeper but wide of the far post. For Shakhtar, Alex Teixeira set up a succession of promising chances three minutes before the interval but PSG defenders managed to block all the shots with defender Olexandr Kucher blazing the last one over the crossbar.
Ten minutes after the restart defender Yaroslav Rakytskiy chested away for a corner a thundering strike from Marco Verratti before the Italian set up Di Maria for another one-one-one with keeper Andriy Paytov which he missed. Shakhtar's fans cheered up when Brazilian talent Alex Teixeira came close to pulling a goal back twice in the 78th minute by was denied by keeper Kevin Trapp and then the crossbar.
Ibrahimovic was looking to equal Pauleta's PSG record of 109 goals in all competitions when Srna tried to block his late effort only to turn the ball in his own net at the near post. Shakhtar suffered another bitter blow to their hopes of qualifying for the knockout phase and are bottom of the group having conceded more goals than third-placed Malmo in their two defeats.