Di María delights as Paris outmuscle Malmö
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Paris 2-0 Malmö
Ángel Di María scored the first goal of this season's group stage to set the hosts on their way to an opening Group A success.
Article top media content
- Ángel Di María opens scoring with excellent finish inside four minutes
- Paris spurn a number of chances in a dominant first half
- Edinson Cavani doubles lead with second-half header
- Zlatan Ibrahimović unable to find net against his former club
- Next games: Malmö v Real Madrid, Shakhtar v Paris (30 September)
Paris Saint-Germain are up and running in UEFA Champions League Group A after being inspired to a 2-0 win against Malmö by new signing Ángel Di María.
The pre-match build-up had centred on a fit-again Zlatan Ibrahimović facing his old club, but it was the newest star in the Paris galaxy who lit up the occasion after just four minutes. Fielded on the right, the €63m summer acquisition from Manchester United raced onto an excellent Marco Verratti pass over the defence and found the far corner with the first goal of this season's competition.
The Argentinian international was not done impressing either, and regained possession before setting up Gregory van der Wiel to swing in a cross that Ibrahimović headed over. He then freed the Malmo native with a lofted ball that forced Johan Wiland to come out and smother a trademark flicked effort from the No10.
Malmö were suffering, and Di María haunted them again with a fine shot whipped centimetres wide, before the visitors had their first real chance, Nikola Djurdjić outmuscling Van der Wiel and slicing beyond the post. With five at the back and only three midfielders, the Swedish champions were nonetheless inviting trouble, and Åge Hareide switched to 4-4-2 at half-time after introducing Vladimir Rodić for Felipe Carvalho.
That helped relieve the pressure, but Paris always looked capable of doubling their lead and did precisely that when Edinson Cavani headed in from Maxwell's cross via an Ibrahimović flick. It then took two superb Wiland saves from Cavani and David Luiz to limit the damage – the points, however, belonged to the hosts.
Di María worth the wait
Man of the match in the 2014 UEFA Champions League final, Paris's new No11 picked up where he left off in the competition following his year off from European football with Manchester United. Sensational from the start, he showed why the French title holders were so keen to bring him on board – last year and this.
Ibrahimović off the boil
Put it down to the occasion or the pain he is still suffering in his ribs, but the Malmö alumnus was not quite at the races against the team where he made his professional debut. Caught offside several times, Ibrahimović was likewise clumsy with his touch and finishing – until playing a part in the home side's second goal.
No troubles for Trapp
Under the microscope after his errors against Bordeaux on Friday, goalkeeper Kevin Trapp was under pressure to perform. He retained his starting place and enjoyed a quiet night with little scope for making mistakes, receiving ironic cheers for clearing the ball under a little pressure late on.