Goals by defenders Sammy Traoré and Bernard Mendy put Paris Saint-Germain FC in the driving seat after the first leg of their UEFA Cup Round of 32 tie against AEK Athens FC in the Greek capital.
Traoré gave the French side, who languish in 16th place in Ligue 1, the lead on the stroke of half-time before Mendy added a stunning second in the closing moments of a match that was Paul Le Guen's first European game since taking over as PSG coach.
Both teams hit the woodwork in an entertaining first half - Cristian Rodriguez for PSG with a header from a David Hellebuyck corner and Júlio César for AEK with a curling effort – but it was the hosts who had the better of the opening 45 minutes, Pantelis Kapetanos also going close with a volley. It would be the visitors who went into the break ahead, however, after Traoré rose highest to nod in Hellebuyck's corner.
Chances were more limited in the second period but buoyed by Traoré's breakthrough, PSG had the better of the early exchanges as Bonaventure Kalou fired straight at a covering defender with the goal gaping following fine play from Amara Diané. AEK still posed a threat themselves, with Kapetanos bringing down a long ball but shooting straight at PSG keeper Mickaël Landreau's legs, yet it was the Parisians who always looked the likelier scorers. Kalou nearly did so when heading narrowly wide from Mamadou Sakho's cross, before Mendy struck at the death with an unstoppable drive into the far corner.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.