It was a good result for football. We don't want a sequence of one-sided first legs and dull, irrelevant second legs, now do we? Paris St-Germain produced 90 minutes of perfect away achievement, frustrating the ball-hogging home side and occasionally going down the other end and scoring, but those last couple of minutes didn't go their way at all. Valencia's goal didn't involve any great cunning, or particularly admirable skill – it was a nice cross, but lordy knows Costa had enough practice to finally land one of those, even if they were governed by the law of averages alone. Then the red card, which didn't involve any great violence, or any great contact with Guardado's shin, but it was just about justifiable-I-suppose. What Ibrahimovic was doing even risking it for the sake of a loose ball in the last minute way out on the right wing, though, I don't know.
So, it's still all to play for in the second leg. But PSG are better than Valencia, and should win.
It's all over!
90+3 min: That's yer lot! And PSG win, but not by as much as they would have liked, and not with as many players on the pitch as they might have wanted.
Ibrahimovic has been sent off!
90+2 min: Ibrahimovic fouls Guardado, and then keeps going to contest the loose ball with Parejo. His foot goes over the ball and, with studs showing, near the Valencia player's shin. Not really into it. Anyway, the officials could see his studs, and they didn't like it one bit. He's off!
GOAL! Valencia 1-2 Paris St-Germain (Rami 90)
Valencia inject life into the tie, Tino Costa swinging another free-kick into the penalty area and Adil Rami running unmarked into the six-yard box to tap in from close range.
90 min: PSG bring Pastore off, and throw Armand on.
88 min: Nelson Valdez, who hasn't been up to much since his half-time introduction, fluffs a half-chance. "I feel compelled to point out that if you're sufficiently well-acquainted with someone to tell them that they need to shower, you would more likely say 'douche-toi'," writes Mark Gillies. Can we just agree not to order French people to shower, however great the temptation? Please?
87 min: Tino Costa's free-kick from the right wing evades all the heads crowding the penalty area and would have flown in at the back stick but for Sirigu's diving stop.
85 min: Juventus are now 3-0 up. Cruel game, football. Etc.
84 min: Valencia bring Feghouli off, and Viera on (though Soldado thought he was being subbed, gave his armband away and then had to go back and fetch it again when he realised he had to keep playing).
83 min: Rami brings the ball out of defence, and passes to Soldado on the left wing. Soldado prods the ball back to Rami, who gives PSG enough time to get in their defensive positions before passing the ball to off the referee's shins to an opponent.
80 min: Celtic have, by all accounts, been thoroughly excellent against Juventus. But they're now 2-0 down.
79 min: But what we can all agree on, though, is that Menez means "lead!"*.
* If you don't agree, keep it to yourself.
78 min: Lots of people are telling me that douchez-vous is correct after all, not simply douchez. So that's me told.
77 min: PSG take off Lavezzi and bring on Ménez.
76 min: Valencia's best chance of the game! The ball breaks to Valdez, just wide of the post, and he's got a fairly easy task to turn it into the net past an out-of-position Sirigu – but he blasts it wide with his left foot.
73 min: Valencia run down the other end, where Soldado goes down while competing for a cross. He jumps up and down like a frustrated cartoon villain when the referee tells him to get up.
72 min: PSG have a goal disallowed! And they're not very happy about it! Ibrahimovic passes to Chantôme, gets the ball back, his shot is blocked, a defender slides in and the ball rolls to Chantôme, who slams it into the net. He was in an offside position when the ball broke to him, but it was a defender who did the rolling, so it should have been allowed, I think.
69 min: Valencia scoop the ball into PSG's penalty area, and when it's half-cleared the onrushing Feghouli volleys left-footed, about 10 yards over the bar. There's just a gulf in quality in the attacking third here, that's what it comes down to.
66 min: The more Valencia try to score, the closer they come to falling 3-0 behind. Ibrahimovic passes to Lavezzi, who overhits the return ball but Guaita is so slow off his line the Swede actually gets to it first, but the keeper blocks the shot.
64 min: Incredible chance! Verratti finds Lavezzi on the edge of the penalty area with a lovely pass, and he tries a first-time shot, mishits, sees the ball fall flukily back into his path, and suddenly he can see the white of Gualta's eyes … and, mesmerised, he chips the ball into his arms.
63 min: Here's Britain's very own David Beckham celebrating one of PSG's goals. The big question is: why's he sitting next to Lembit Opik?
62 min: Chances! At one end, Soldado tries to cleverly control a chipped through-bacll, but fails – he should just have tried to smack it. Then PSG stream down the other end, Ibrahimovic shoots hard and low from distance, and the keeper shuffles the ball straight to Lavezzi, who slams the rebound wide. It did come to him pretty quick.
57 min: Valencia pile loads of people forward, don't find a way through the PSG defence, and then the away side break. Lavezzi, though, is so isolated that he's got little option but to try to win a free-kick on his own. Which he does.
54 min: "Are PSG that good Simon, or are Valencia just playing like a right douche tonight?" asks Justin Kavanagh, quite reasonably. A mixture of both, I'd say. Any team with 60%+ possession should be expected to create the occasional something, particularly against opponents who aren't entirely defensive in intent, and Valencia haven't done anything much except ping over hopeful crosses. While their attack isn't entirely functioning, Valencia's defence has been forced to cope with a couple of PSG players who are pretty hard to handle. And they haven't.
53 min: Sirigu has to do something difficult! It's a corner from the left, Valdez wins the header, and the ball loops up into the air and heads gently towards the far corner of the net, forcing Sirigu to tip it over the bar.
51 min: Valdez is found in space, in the penalty area – but offside. PSG really are doing a very impressive job here. "Douchez is the imperative, so it translates simply as "shower!", and your "go take a shower" is perfect," writes Vladimir Klein, providing me with perhaps my all-time best-ever French translation feedback. "Mr Hazlehurst should get a grip on his sexual fantasies."
49 min: Valencia enjoy extended controlled possession in their own half. This could be because only one PSG player is sharing that half with them. Eventually they get bored, and Feghouli pegs it for about 30 yards before booting the ball out of play.
47 min: So far, so much like half-time never happened. Valencia are in control of everything except Lucas, and the scoreline.
46 min: Substitutions for Valencia at half-time: Nelson Valdez and Sergio Canales are on. Ever Banega and Jonas are off. And we are back under way.
45+2 min: Tino Costa's corner is cleared, Ibrahimovic runs the ball towards the half-way line, and the referee blows his whistle. We have had half of the time.
45+1 min: Pastore fouls Pereira, who produces a foul-mouthed verbal volley as he rises from the floor (I'm assuming, based on body language – I don't speak Pereira).
45 min: Valencia have had 61% of the possession so far, but PSG have – understandably, given the expense required to recruit them – the classier players, especially in attack.
GOAL! Valencia 0-2 Paris St-Germain (Pastore 44)
Lucas again speeds down the right, beats Guardado with a little trick on the byline, and then slams a ball across goal, which Pastore diverts goalwards. It goes between the keeper's legs. That's the tie over then, no?
42 min: Feghouli attempts a one-two with Soldado on the edge of PSG's penalty area, and then thunders straight into a defender. Moments later he's got the ball again, crosses from the right, and Banega falls over in the box and asks for a penalty, with admirable optimism.
39 min: Pastore gets the ball in the penalty area, turns and rolls the ball into the path of Lavezzi, whose first-time shot from just inside the box is fairly comfortably saved (but perhaps not as comfortably as it should have been).
38 min: Valencia have had an excellent half in many ways. The only two problems are that they haven't created anything, and they have conceded a goal. Quite significant problems, though.
37 min: Tino Costa swings it in, and Jonas wins the ball, but he miscues his header and the ball flies over the bar.
36 min: Lots of stoppages these last few minutes, the latest a foul on Feghouli by Pastore, giving Valencia a free cross from a decent position on the right.
33 min: Lavezzi goes down, but no foul is given. He stays down, Valencia don't put the ball out of play, and when there is a stoppage everyone gets in a frightful strop. It all ends with Pereira and Verratti getting booked for their pains, which means the latter will miss the second leg.
32 min: The teams trade offsides. "Eh, what?" asks R Vivekananda, a little belatedly, "So the Qatari sugar-daddies are going to throw the pram out of their toy?"
29 min: Lucas runs – very fast – in a straight line for about 50 yards before slamming a low shot at goal from an acute angle. Guaita picks it up.
28 min: Verratti is presented with the ball, and has an opportunity to race into Valencia's penalty area and take a shot. He doesn't take it, instead dallying about 30 yards out before playing in Ibrahimovic, whose cross flies over everyone.
27 min: Valencia have had 63% of the possession so far, and are losing. That's gotta smart.
24 min: Banega's cross is half-cleared, and Guardado lashes a shot high and wide from 15 yards. Valencia have done all the attacking since the goal.
23 min: A lovely cross from Joao Pereira on the right wing for Valencia. Doesn't find a Valencian head, but still, a lovely cross.
21 min: Christophe Jallet's terrible defensive header falls to Soldado, just outside the penalty area, but his half-volley isn't up to much either.
20 min: "Marseille are the only French club to win big ears. Will PSG be the second?" writes Graham Turnbull. Um, probably not, but possibly, which nobody has said about a French team for a while. "If they did, they would also be the only team with a hyphen in their name to win it, and only the second with a non-standard alphabet character after FC Steaua București. No idea what that cedilla like thing under the 's' is, but I'm sure this will be quite a big event in the diacritical world."
18 min: Soldado tries to beat the keeper from the halfway line! And gets it hilariously wrong! The ball goes out for a throw-in, about 30 yards from the goal line.
15 min: Due to, well, something beyond my understanding, my television cuts out the corner of the screen where the match clock is. I've got a stopwatch going, which I started about three minutes into the match, so I'm adding about three minutes onto every time, which is taxing my powers of mental arithmetic a bit. "Wouldn't 'go have a shower' be Douchez-vous?" asks Robin Hazlehurst. "So 'Douchez!' alone would mean 'shower someone else!'. Maybe. Not sure though. Actually Douchez sounds like a point being scored against a fencer with a cold."
12 min: Valencia immediately raid down the left wing, and Soldado is about to meet the cross when Mamadou Sakho dives right through him to win the ball. The home side would like a penalty, but they don't get one. What they do get, though, is a bit of a breather while the two players get some magic sponge action.
GOAL! Valencia 0-1 Paris St-Germain (Lavezzi 11)
So that's what all that money gets you! Lavezzi gets the ball just outside the area, zips pas Ricardo Costa and then lashes a shot through Vicente Guaita, who didn't exactly cover himself with glory, and into the back of the net. That was gorgeously fluent running from the Argentinian.
10 min: Lucas smacks the post with a super 25-yard shot, the referee having waved play on when Ibrahimovic was taken out by Adil Rami a few moments previously.
8 min: PSG continue to not-yet-demonstrate their incredibly expensive might. A decent Valencia move ends with Daniel Parejo giving the ball away.
7 min: Javier Pastore wins the ball, runs 30 yards and gives it away again. Meanwhile, Juventus take the lead against Celtic.
5 min: Lots of empty seats behind Sirigu's goal. Apparently they were supposed to go to PSG fans, but PSG fans didn't want them.
3 min: We've already got an injury, Lucas having spent half of the first three minutes receiving treatment for something.
1 min: The referee blows his whistle, and Valencia get the game under way.
Here's proof that David Beckham is at the ground, as he is pictured hopping off his … hang on … that's not a helicopter, it's a coach! Sky were peddling lies!
The teams are in the tunnel, and with a turn of the head and a shout of "OK!" the referee leads them out. Game (nearly) on!
Incidentally, PSG are soon to lose their pram. Their new, pramless logo would look something like this, apparently:
"Is that … a pram below the Eiffel Tower?" asks James Coe. Why yes, as it happens. Allow The Knowledge to explain:
The pram is actually a cradle, as several of you have picked up on, but you're on the right lines Tom. "The badge does indeed combine the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower with a cradle and the fleur de lis, or lily," explains Tim Pike.
"Obviously, the Tower represents Paris, while the cradle and fleur de lis are the symbols of the quiet suburban town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, where PSG train and are headquartered (about 15 miles west of Paris). A similar design features on the town's crest.
"Saint-Germain is nicknamed 'le berceau de Louis XI' (the cradle of Louis XIV), as the town happens to be the birthplace of the Sun King (in 1638, fact fans), hence the cradle. The lily is also a longstanding royal symbol in France.
"The pram is an emblem for Paris," adds Stéphane Di Cesare. "More exactly, it was the emblem of the 'Water Merchants', a merchants' guild in Paris in the Middle Ages." So now you know.
Obviously PSG have an expensive, flash way of presenting their team sheet.
The teams are in!
And though David Beckham isn't involved, I can confirm that he will be in the stands, having arrived in Valencia – in a helicopter, no less – a short while ago. PSG's reserve goalkeeper's surname means "go have a shower".
Valencia: Guaita, Joao Pereira, Rami, Ricardo Costa, Guardado, Feghouli, Ever, Parejo, Tino Costa, Jonas, Soldado. Subs: Diego Alves, Albelda, Piatti, Viera, Haedo Valdez, Victor Ruiz, Canales.
PSG: Sirigu, Jallet, Alex, Sakho, Maxwell, Lucas Moura, Matuidi, Verratti, Pastore, Ibrahimovic, Lavezzi. Subs: Douchez, Camara, Menez, Gameiro, Chantome, Armand, Van Der Wiel.
Referee: Paolo Tagliavento.
Hello, good evening, welcome
Hello, good evening, and welcome to coverage of tonight's big match between the foreign team David Beckham plays for these days and another foreign team. Here are a few highlights from Fifa's official match press kit:
• "The Spanish side have every reason to be confident, having won all previous eight home games against visitors from France."
• "The only previous meeting between the sides came in a pre-season tournament staged at the Arsenal Stadium in London on 29 July 2007. PSG ran out 3-0 winners with Amara Diané and David Ngog on the scoresheet."
• "Valencia are unbeaten in nine Uefa Champions League home games (W6 D3) since a 1-0 loss against Manchester United on 29 September 2010."
• "The French team's record in 16 games against Spanish sides reads W8 D3 L5 (W3 D1 L3 in Spain). They were last in the country in September 2011, going down 2-0 at Athletic Club in the Uefa Europa League group stage."
• "Antonio Barragán completes a two-game ban on matchday seven; Soldado is available after serving his own suspension on matchday six. Vicente Guaita and Tino Costa are within a booking of bans."
• "Éver Banega was ruled out from 19 February to 20 October [last year] after breaking his leg having left the handbrake off his car at a petrol station."
• "All of PSG's 14 group stage goals came from inside the area. The French side conceded three in the group stage, fewer than any other club."
• "PSG's victory at GNK Dinamo Zagreb on matchday three was their first away win in the UEFA Champions League in 11 attempts, since a 1-0 success at IFK Göteborg in November 1997."
• "PSG are 12 games unbeaten in all competitions, winning 11, since a 2-1 defeat at OGC Nice on 1 December. During that run they have secured UEFA Champions League progress as group winners, risen from fourth to first in Ligue 1 and booked a place in the last 16 of the French Cup."
• The referee, Paolo Tagliavento, is "a hairdresser by profession".
And that, I believe, is roughly all the information you need to pass yourself off as an expert tonight. Well, I certainly hope so.
Simon will be here from 7.15pm or so. In the meantime, why not read Marcus Christenson's preview of tonight's tie:
The Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi last week demanded that his team-mates show Valencia "respect" when the two teams line up at the Mestalla on Tuesday but, considering the Spanish team recently lost 5-0 at home to Real Madrid and that their best player turned up hungover (or still drunk depending on whom you believe) two days before the game against Barça, it is easy to see why PSG are the favourites.
Ever Banega it was who reported for training late and in an unfit state but such is the shortage of alternatives available to the Valencia coach, Ernesto Valverde, that the Argentinian started the game against Barcelona – and played well in a 1-1 draw against the champions at the start of this month. And it is performances such as the one against the Catalans that will give Valencia confidence that they can hurt PSG. Against Barça Valencia were well organised, worked hard and put an awful lot of pressure on the visitors.
You can read the rest by clicking here.