Paris ride their luck in seeing off Basel
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Edinson Cavani rounded off a 3-0 Group A win for Paris Saint-Germain with a late penalty, but Basel will feel unlucky not to have taken something after hitting the woodwork three times.
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Goals from Ángel Di María, Lucas and Edinson Cavani helped Paris Saint-Germain open up a six-point advantage over Basel in UEFA Champions League Group A.
Di María drilled in the opener as the Ligue 1 outfit struck with only their second shot of the night, shortly before the break, after Adrien Rabiot's effort had tested Tomáš Vaclík.
Previously it had been Basel asking all the questions, with Michael Lang and Seydou Doumbia hitting the woodwork and Renato Steffen losing out to Alphonse Aréola in a one-on-one.
The hosts were much improved in the second 45 minutes and Lucas doubled their lead after an hour. Basel rattled the frame of the goal a third time through Marek Suchý, but the Swiss league leaders could not come any closer to a consolation and conceded a third when Cavani converted an added-time spot kick.
Key player: Adrien Rabiot (Paris)
Rabiot orchestrated proceedings from his midfield position. His powerful shot was a prelude to the opening goal and it was the moment that seemed to spark the Parisians into action.
Basel's scoring woes
You do not get many opportunities to score at the Parc des Princes and Basel will leave the French capital full of regrets at the many they wasted. One goal in three group games is a statistic that needs addressing immediately – starting at home to Paris on 1 November.
Supporting cast have their say
The more Cavani has found the net in recent weeks, the more the impression has formed that Paris depend too much on their in-form No9. Fingers were being pointed at the rest of the team, but Di María and Lucas did precisely what was required on a rare quiet night for Cavani – one that still ended with him grabbing a 16th goal in 12 matches. While the Argentina winger notched his first since 23 April, Lucas grabbed his sixth in all competitions in what is slowly becoming an unusually prolific campaign.
Chris Burke, Paris (@UEFAcomChrisB)
Another victory and another unconvincing display from Paris, who are struggling to control games for the full 90 minutes. This could have gone very differently had Basel made their chances count, though Unai Emery will point to the fact that his side had a killer instinct and scored at telling moments. The Spaniard said yesterday that he wanted Paris to win and perform well, but – given the choice – he obviously would have preferred the first outcome to the second. The tussle for top spot in Group A remains on.
Ben Gladwell, Basel (@UEFAcomBenG)
Basel illustrated how very fine the line can be between success and failure – more precisely the width of a post. They did not shy away from the challenge, showing encouraging signs with arguably their best performance in Europe this term. In spite of this, though, Urs Fischer's men come away empty-handed and with more than just the proverbial mountain to climb if they wish to extend their UEFA Champions League adventure beyond December.