Hopes of continued European progress rest in the balance for both Paris Saint-Germain FC and FC Dynamo Kyiv after the two clubs played out a goalless draw in the opening leg of their UEFA Cup quarter-final at the Parc des Princes.
The Ligue 1 outfit had the better of the match after an uncertain start, but they lacked a cutting edge in front of goal and failed to call Dynamo goalkeeper Stanislav Bogush into action as often as they might. Instead, he and his team-mates, who offered sporadic danger, will leave the French capital feeling positive about their prospects ahead of the return leg in the Ukrainian capital next Thursday.
Despite their reputation as counterattacking specialists, the visitors monopolised possession in the opening stages, posing an early threat with an off-target Olexandr Aliyev free-kick as the home side took time to settle. Paul Le Guen had left experienced campaigners Claude Makelele and Ludovic Giuly on the bench, but it was another old hand who eventually prompted PSG's first attacking menace, Jérôme Rothen spinning an ultimately fruitless cross in from the left.
For a genuine chance, spectators had to wait until the 23rd minute, when PSG's Stéphane Sessegnon cut inside Goran Sabljić and fired into the sidenetting. The Beninese midfielder then shot over from outside the area and he was involved again as Clément Chantôme threatened to break the deadlock on the half-hour, cutting a deflected ball back to the 21-year-old, whose powerful drive found the outstretched leg of Bogush. The Dynamo custodian was called upon soon after as well, diving to his left to deny Rothen.
At the other end, Artem Milevskiy looked increasingly isolated as that series of PSG chances forced Yuri Semin's charges on to the back foot. They conjured the first opportunity after the restart, though, Aliyev curling the ball towards the bottom-right corner of Mickaël Landreau's goal and the former FC Nantes No1 turning the attempt wide. Landreau had to be alert moments later too, as Ognjen Vukojević tested him from 30 metres out.
Suddenly it was the hosts looking for chances on the break and they worked a fine one after some excellent work from Guillaume Hoarau, who picked out Sessegnon's surging run down the right and watched as the 24-year-old waited too long before pulling the trigger. In response, Roman Eremenko flashed an effort across Landreau's bows, and although it was PSG who continued to look the more likely team to score, that they did not could well come back to haunt them at the Valeri Lobanovskiy Stadium next week.