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Motta double helps PSG prevail at Olympiacos

Olympiacos FC 1-4 Paris Saint-Germain FC
Two second-half headers from Thiago Motta helped last season's quarter-finalists begin Group C with an ultimately comfortable win in Piraeus.

Olympiacos 1-4 PSG: the story in photos ©AFP/Getty Images

Thiago Motta scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain FC survived a scare to see off a determined Olympiacos FC thanks to a powerful second-half display in Piraeus.

Edinson Cavani gave Laurent Blanc's team the lead against the run of play with a simple tap-in but the hosts levelled courtesy of Vladimír Weiss, who jinked through the PSG defence for a fine solo equaliser in a breathless first half. The French side stepped up a gear after the interval, however, with Motta twice heading in left-wing corners from Ezequiel Lavezzi in a six-minute spell. The Ligue 1 champions could even afford a Zlatan Ibrahimović penalty miss, Marquinhos heading in a fourth in the closing stages.

Blanc had emphasised the importance of ball retention ahead of the match but the visitors gave possession away in the first minute and only the crossbar kept out Weiss's long-range drive. PSG soon settled, however, and began to control much of the play although the Greek title holders looked dangerous on the break, the lively Weiss flashing one shot wide before another came back off the upright.

PSG strikers Ibrahimović and Cavani were seeing little of the ball although the threat they posed was evident in the 19th minute when Cavani opened the scoring against the run of play. Ibrahimović played a pinpoint through ball to Maxwell, who flicked into the path of Cavani for a simple finish.

The advantage lasted six minutes as Olympiacos pulled level through a piece of individual brilliance by Weiss. The Slovak international, a constant menace with his direct running, broke down the right and skipped past four challenges – including a sumptuous nutmeg on 19-year-old PSG debutant Marquinhos – before beating Salvatore Sirigu with the aid of a deflection.

Lavezzi replaced Lucas at half-time as Blanc sought to add more attacking impetus, and both Cavani and Gregory van der Wiel tested the reflexes of Olympiacos goalkeeper Roberto with long-range drives as PSG looked more assured. Lavezzi made a telling contribution on 68 minutes, delivering a corner for the unmarked Motta to head in at the near post.

Five minutes later Motta escaped the attentions of Andreas Samaris for a second time to meet another Lavezzi corner and make sure the points were travelling back to Paris. Ibrahimović was denied by Roberto's penalty save having been felled by Samaris, though PSG did make it four when Marquinhos nodded in another corner with four minutes left to seal an emphatic start to Group C for last season's quarter-finalists.

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