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PSG take 2-1 lead in the first leg of Champions League

PSG take 2-1 lead in the first leg of Champions League

Sports News – Paris Saint-Germain will take a 2-1 lead into the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Valencia, but a dramatic late turn of events handed the Spanish side a lifeline.

Going into the 90th minute here at the Mestalla on Tuesday, the French league leaders appeared in cruise control thanks to first-half goals from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore.

However, French international centre-back Adil Rami found the net in the final minute to keep Valencia in the tie, before PSG had Zlatan Ibrahimovic controversially sent-off for a studs-up challenge on Andres Guardado.

The Swede, who has been criticised in the past for failing to produce his very best in the Champions League knockout stages, will now miss the return leg at the Parc des Princes next month, but at least PSG will have a lead to defend in that game.

Despite the ending, for much of the evening this was a classic away European performance from Ancelotti’s side, who ceded possession to their hosts but were always a threat on the counter-attack.

History suggested that this would be a major test for PSG, who were playing a knockout tie in Europe’s top club competition for the first time since 1995.

Since then, Valencia had reached two Champions League finals, and had never been beaten by French opposition at their Mestalla home.

However, PSG, backed by massive investment from their Qatari owners, are emerging as a major continental force, and they travelled to Spain with their confidence buoyed by a run of 12 matches unbeaten in all competitions. (AFP)

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