PSG beat Basel 2-1, ad­vance from Cham­pi­ons League group

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

A bril­liant 90th-minute goal by Thomas Me­u­nier sealed Paris Saint-Ger­main’s easy progress into the Cham­pi­ons League round of 16 with a 2-1 win at Basel on Tues­day. A point would have been enough for PSG to progress along­side Group A ri­val Ar­se­nal when the Gun­ners scored late to com­plete a come-from-be­hind 3-2 win at Lu­do­gorets Raz­grad.

But PSG de­fender Me­u­nier made it em­phatic with a spin­ning volleyed shot from out­side the penalty area into the top right cor­ner of Basel’s goal. PSG had only Blaise Ma­tu­idi’s 43th-minute goal - a deft flick with the in­side of his right heel - to re­flect its dom­i­na­tion un­til Basel equal­ized with a stun­ning strike in the 76th.

Sub­sti­tute Luca Zuffi was 35 me­ters out when he spot­ted goal­keeper Alphonse Are­ola had strayed off his goalline, and fired a dip­ping shot into the net.

Basel fin­ished with 10 play­ers after Ivory Coast mid­fielder Ge­of­froy Serey Die was shown two yel­low cards with six min­utes left in the game. PSG and Ar­se­nal both have 10 points and meet in Lon­don on Nov. 23. Ar­se­nal leads the group with a bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence and would gain by a draw. It was a win­ning re­turn to Basel for PSG coach Unai Emery, nearly six months after he led Sevilla to a third straight Europa League ti­tle here against Liver­pool.

For Basel, un­beaten in do­mes­tic league and cup matches, it was a first loss at St. Jakob Park this sea­son. The peren­nial Swiss cham­pion has strug­gled in Group A, and has not led in any of its four matches.

Basel and Lu­do­gorets each has one point and plays in Bul­garia on Nov. 23. That game that could de­cide which team fin­ishes third and trans­fers to the Europa League round of 32 in Fe­bru­ary. The teams drew 1-1 at Basel in their open­ing match.

PSG took a de­served lead fol­low­ing a cor­ner from the left. The ball broke to Bel­gium de­fender Me­u­nier whose shot across the goal­mouth was di­rected in by Ma­tu­idi with his back to goal. Star for­ward Edin­son Ca­vani was waste­ful in the 19th when he chipped a shot high over the goal when sent clear on Basel goal­keeper To­mas Va­clik, and Me­u­nier twice failed to score with clear shoot­ing chances in the se­cond half. — AP

BASEL: Paris Saint-Ger­main’s Ar­gen­tinian for­ward An­gel Di Maria (C) falls be­tween Basel’s Ivo­rian de­fender Adama Traore (L) and Basel’s Czech de­fender Marek Suchy (R) dur­ing the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League group A foot­ball match. — AFP

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