|FC National 2000 Bucuresti||PSG|
A goal in each half gave ten-man Paris Saint-Germain FC a healthy 2-0 first-leg lead in their UEFA Cup second-round meeting with FC National Bucuresti at the Cotroceni stadium.
After Laurent Leroy had given PSG a sixth-minute lead, the red card shown to Jérôme Leroy midway through the second half seemed to have given the Romanian side hope. But five minutes later, André Luiz doubled the visitors' lead to give his side a comfortable cushion ahead of the second leg in Paris in a fortnight.
PSG opened the scoring with practically their first attack of the game. A swift move involving Lionel Potillion was finished off with a neat header by Laurent Leroy. It was the perfect start for the French visitors who were without some key men including Argentina defender Mauricio Pochettino and Brazilian FIFA World Cup winner Ronaldinho, although the latter was on the bench.
Defence on top
After the early disappointment, National found it very difficult to work their way back into the game despite pressing forward with some attractive passing. Their stylish opponents were always on top and had a defence that was fully committed to the cause.
The home crowd were able to get off their feet for two penalty appeals in the tenth and 22nd minutes but neither was given. Despite those scares, PSG were not distracted from their composed play and were content to launch sporadic attacks.
That tactic nearly paid dividends in the 38th minute as José Aloisio went past two defenders before shooting narrowly wide. Four minutes later National conjured up their best chance with Gigel Coman's shot but Lionel Leitizi was equal to it.
Striker Sabin Ilie also produced a great save from Leitizi just after the interval but that was about as good it was going to get for National even though PSG played the last 26 minutes with ten men. Jérôme Leroy was shown a straight red card after he retaliated to a foul by Coman by kicking out.
Despite that setback, PSG extended their advantage when André Luiz sent in a fierce free-kick from 22 metres which National goalkeeper Bogdan Vintila could not stop. It ensured a deserved victory, although the two-goal margin does slightly flatter tonight's visitors in Bucharest.
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