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Gaitán strike helps Benfica keep PSG at bay

Published: Thursday 17 March 2011, 20.49CET
Paris Saint-Germain FC 1-1 SL Benfica (agg: 2-3)
The visitors are in the quarter-final draw for the second year running after Nicolás Gaitán's first-half strike secured their passage against PSG.
by Ian Holyman
from Parc des Princes

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Published: Thursday 17 March 2011, 20.49CET

Gaitán strike helps Benfica keep PSG at bay

Paris Saint-Germain FC 1-1 SL Benfica (agg: 2-3)
The visitors are in the quarter-final draw for the second year running after Nicolás Gaitán's first-half strike secured their passage against PSG.

SL Benfica reached the quarter-finals for the second successive year as a gritty 1-1 draw at Paris Saint-Germain FC took them through.

Having come from behind to win 2-1 a week ago, the Lisbon heavyweights padded their first-leg cushion with Nicolás Gaitán's 27th-minute strike at the Parc des Princes. Although Mathieu Bodmer's sumptuous volley levelled on the night eight minutes later, Jorge Jesus' men defended resolutely to seal a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

The French capital's large Portuguese population meant the visitors must have felt at home, and they were sitting even more comfortably after Gaitán extended their overall advantage. When Benfica broke at pace, PSG were left floundering, and Gaitán capped the move with a well-struck drive that caught out Apoula Édel at his near post.

Mevlüt Erdinç could have equalised almost immediately only to fire straight at Roberto. However, the Turkish international made amends by outjumping Luisão to tee up Bodmer – the former Olympique Lyonnais midfielder's imperious volley flashed into the net from the edge of the box.

Given their territorial domination and greater enterprise, the goal was just deserts for the hosts, who would have had a second before the break had Nenê's long-range effort zipped inside – rather than past – Roberto's right-hand post.

Reinvigorated after the interval, Benfica pressed insistently, and Óscar Cardozo spurned two good opportunities as the Portuguese champions sought breathing space. PSG's sole riposte came from Erdinç, though he should have found the net from Nenê's tailor-made delivery rather than steer his close-range shot over the bar.

The momentum swayed back the hosts' way when Ludovic Giuly and Guillaume Hoarau emerged from the bench, and when Benfica failed to clear, Hoarau forced a brilliant point-blank parry from Roberto, who then rushed from his line to clear ahead of Giuly to ensure his club would progress.

Last updated: 27/11/12 6.58CET

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