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Paris, Real Madrid draw a blank in France

Paris Saint-Germain 0-0 Real Madrid
There was nothing between the two Group A rivals at the Parc des Princes, with the teams staying level on points in the standings.

Highlights: Paris 0-0 Real Madrid
Highlights: Paris 0-0 Real Madrid
  • Paris and Real Madrid share goalless draw
  • Kevin Trapp denies Jesé in tight first half; Madrid end opening period on top
  • Quiet night for respective club record scorers Zlatan Ibrahimović and Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Laurent Blanc's charges level with Rafael Benítez's men at Group A summit
  • The sides meet again at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu on 3 November

The marquee meeting between the UEFA Champions League Group A leaders failed to produce a breakthrough as Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid cancelled each other out in France.

This showdown between the section juggernauts was billed as a sure-fire football feast, but the qualities on display turned out to be of a subtler, more attritional kind. Both teams hared into the midfield battle from the start, and it took the calm-headed promptings of Thiago Motta to secure Paris the first spell of pressure, Blaise Matuidi having a shot saved before Thiago Silva headed over from a Motta free-kick.

Zlatan content with Paris point
Zlatan content with Paris point

True to Rafael Benítez's word, though, Madrid had not come to defend and they gradually pressed forward, especially down the left, with the energetic Marcelo a real menace. The best chance of the first period nevertheless came through the middle, a disguised Toni Kroos through ball releasing Jesé in the area and requiring Kevin Trapp to rush off his line to save with his feet.

The fit-again goalkeeper also had to tip over a Cristiano Ronaldo header and thwart Casemiro before the half was out. Edinson Cavani then volleyed wide after the restart as Paris looked to put their injury-hit opponents to a proper test, a desire that soon produced a headed opportunity for Zlatan Ibrahimović – which flew over – and a deflected Ángel Di María attempt.

New Paris record scorer Ibrahimović was having a quiet night overall, but the same applied to his Madrid counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo, who lashed wide from a tight angle on the left after failing to threaten with a series of free-kicks. Ultimately the sparks did not fly, but these capable sides will meet again in two weeks' time.

Thiago Silva
Thiago Silva©AFP/Getty Images

Key player: Thiago Silva
In a tense match, Paris's captain was a rock at the back, excelling both in the air and on the ground. His forward colleagues may not have shone, but the Brazil central defender impressed once again to keep the Merengues at bay.

Madrid make early running
Benítez was asked five times in yesterday's press conference about his team's supposedly defensive mindset, yet they slowly but surely displayed their attacking intentions. After sensibly finding their feet and frustrating Paris with their organisation, they came at the hosts with growing purpose – before fading after the break.

Di María kept quiet
Having vowed not to celebrate if he scored against his old club, Di María was never given a chance to follow through on his promise. A Madrid player from 2010 to 2014, the Argentina attacker was closed down whenever he got the ball before making an early exit.

©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images