PSG v Valencia – as it happened

Valencia gave the nouveau riche PSG side a scare, but it's the French team who reach the quarters


Mission accomplished for PSG, thanks to a brilliant first leg. As for the second leg, let us never mention it again. With Zlatan and Verratti back for the quarter-final, PSG can only improve.

89 min:

I was this match was on ITV. At least they'd break up the tedium by throwing in random commercial breaks.

88 min:

Valencia do not seem to be good enough to even make these last few minutes tense. A low-class game is just petering out.

85 min:

It's getting very scrappy, which suits PSG. Valencia have five minutes to punish the hosts for their lack of ambition. 

81 min:

PSG are preparing another substitute and, given the importance of the last 10 minutes, it's not going to be a glorified mascot: on comes Sakho for Lucas. Defensive.

78 min:

Yet another Valencia corner. Banega swings it in, Thiago Silva heads it out. He and Alex have been excellent tonight.

76 min:

Valencia are racking up more corners than Marlo Stansfield but so far PSG are defending them well.

73 min:

Valencia substitution: Valdez on, Jonas off.

70 min:

Ha! If ever you want prove that referees instinctively favour goalkeepers, you can point to what's just happened here, where Milorad Mazic awarded a freekick to PSG after Sirigu came off his line in an attempt to collect a cross and fell over, with absolutely no one near him. Pretty dastardly of Valencia to foul him telepathically, the sly curs.

68 min:

Splendid header from Alex to clear another dangerous corner.

GOAL! PSG 1-1 Valencia (Lavezzi 64) (ag: 3-2)

That was all about Gameiro. He ran at Valencia with speed and menace and when the ball was poked off his toe it broke to Lavezzi right in front of the goal. Guatia saved his first shot but it rebounded kindly to Lavezzi, who nudged it into the net with his thigh. That came from their first shot on target and Ancelotti's introduction of Gamerio has paid off. Still, a goal from Valencia would force extra-time.

61 min:

Gamero is at least looking game but still PSG are lacking vibrancy and purpose. It is shameful that they have yet to muster a shot on target.

59 min:

Only six teams in the history of European football have gone through after losing the first leg at home. VAlencia's bid to become the seventh sees them withdraw Feghouli and throw on Piatti.

56 min

Leonardo says PSG were "made to play in Europe". Tonight they have singularly failed to play. This will be an unforgivable failure if they do not progress. Ancelotti seems to have realised it's time to show more ambition so has taken off Motta and introduced striker Kevin Gameiro.


GOAL! PSG 0-1 Valencia (agg: 2-2)

That is exactly what was required! The match was entirely tedious until Matuidi was dispossessed mid-way inside hiss own half and Jonas collected and rocketed the ball into the net from 25 yards. Will that wake PSG up or trigger a collapse?


48 min:

Pastore charges down the left wing past two opponents. He's then tackled bu the ball bounces out to Lavezzi, who could slip it though to Lucas but instead tries to blem it into the net from 25 yards. He fails.

46 min:

Valencia have made a change, hauling off Albelda and sticking on Banega. Ernesto Valverde's switches made a difference in the first leg, let's hope they do here too. Otherwise we'll be doing well to stay awake till the 90th minute.


It's been dour. PSG have been too cautious and Valencia too limited to take advantage. "Are you not a fan of the Beckham - I sense some hostility there. Do you not sit wearing a pair of his range of tight fitting underpants?" I have nothing against Beckham - seems a decent chap and all that - but I do think PSG's signing him is a preposterous piece of product placement and the on-going coverage of his every move grates. But wait, here's some action: he's sauntering towards the dressing room, no doubt to give a match-winning team-talk to his new team-mates.


43 min:

Jonas lets fly from 20 yards, Sirigu bundles it out for a corner. Costa's pings it into the near post, where Pastore meets it and almost heads into his own goal. Instead it'\s a corner on the far side and Parisian nerves jangle anew. Until Thiago Silva soothes them with a forceful clearance.

41 min:

Alex nuts away a Parejo freekick as Valencia try to put the hosts back on to the back foot.

39 min:

Breaking news: Where's a yellow ticker when you need one? David Beckham has begun warming up! There he limbers, like a pristine role model.

38 min:

Sustained pressure from PSG for the first time in the match, with Lucas seeing plenty of the ball and Maxwell offering regular overlaps down the left. Better. Not brilliant, but better.

35 min:

Now PSG really are starting to bother Valencia's makeshift defence. Pastore and Matuidi combine to draw Ruiz out wide, where he clatters into Matuidi to earn a yellow card and concede a freekick at the corner of the box.

32 min:

That's more like it from PSG: Lavezzi and Pastore summon some slick interplay in the box before the Argentinian fires a low cross across the face of goal ... which Guaita intercepts.

29 min:

Guaita punches Pastore's corner to safety. "The PSG crowd's chanting is giving me the willies and I'm sitting several hundred kilometres from the ground," confesses Ian Copestake. "I can imagine it might have a somewhat enervating effect on their own players let alone the visitors if they get upset." Are you sure they aren't intimidated by the knowledge that the godly David Beckham is monitoring their every move, primed to come on at any moment and win the match single-footedly?

26 min:

Chantome makes a strong burst from midfield and feeds Pastore, who performs a slow, all-too-predictable shuffle before his obvious 25-yard shot is blocked. It's as if PSG's game plan of smothering Valencia has also stifled their own inventiveness. A Valencia goal is what this game needs.

25 min:

PSG substituion: Right-back Jallet has picked up an injury so is replaced by Van der Wiel, who had a shocker in the defeat at Reimes at the weekend.

23 min:

Thiago Silva masterfully cuts out an intended through-ball to Soldado. But PSG remain too passive and Lavezzi and Lucas have seen little of the ball in the last 10 minutes or so.

21 min:

Matuidi decides that the MBM hack is correct and tries to assert himself, but his would-be maraud from the middle his curtailed by a brazen foul by Albelda, who is deservedly booked.

19 min:

PSG are starting to play so deep they should wear miner's helmets. Get the feeling they'd be wiser to be more assertive.

17 min:

Albelda receives the ball some 40 yards from goal. he has team-mates to the right, left and centre. So he he chooses to aim a shot for the top corner, and misses by roughly by an embarrassing distance.

15 min:

Alex heads Costa's corner to safety.

14 min:

As expected, PSG are generally keeping it tight and challenging Valencia to infiltrate them, but do break with speed and numbers when given the chance. For now, though, they must defend another corner.

11 min:

Soldado shows his menace for the first time, flicking a ball behind him to Parejo and then dashing forward for the return, which he duly receives before firing a moderate low shot at Sirigu from 18 yards. The keeper holds.

9 min:

Game back on, with PSG looking increasingly lively. Pastore, Lavezzi and the wonderful Lucas are getting in the groove.

7 min:

A break in play as Motta requires trreatment after clashing heads nuts with team-mate , Alex. Perhaps I should clarify that I am using nuts here as a synonym for head. "What's Goldenballs wearing, for crying out loud!" hollers Mister Justin. A photogenic smoulder, of course.


5 min:

Right, it's not actually a 4-3-3, more of a 4-4-2, with Pastore wide on the left and Chamtome on the right, and Lavezzi and Lucas up front or, rather, both in the hole. This tactics truck is really humming. Meanwhile, Jonas makes a clever run off the left wing and is found with a ball from deep, but Jallet pokes a leg out to prevent him getting off a shot. Corner to Valencia, who have started brightly.

3 min:

PSG's first bout of possession brings a wonderful ball from deep for Lavezzi to chase. But Fuaita hurtles off his line to whack it clear. Meanwhile on the bench, David Beckham tweaks his posture, shifting from his right buttock to his left. You do demand to be kept abreast of his every movement no matter how banal, don't you?

1 min:

Boos accompany the visitors' every touch but it doesn't seem to put them off as Feghouli wins a corner in the first minute. 

"I am fine, what do you want?"

The Serbian referee gets straight to the point, asking the team captain to make their call for the pre-match toss. Valencia win it and will kick-off.


So, in the absence of Marco Verratti and The Zlatan, Carlo Ancelotti has revamped his formation for this match, all, obviously, in a shooting-Bambi-style bid to stop David Beckham from starting. Oh, and to hold on to PSG's 2-1 lead from the first leg. Jitters ahoy!

The 4-3-3, with no out-and-out striker and both Motta and Chantome (and not Beckham) beginning in midfield alongside the imperious Matuidi, indicates an inclination to keep things compact and, no doubt, seek to strike on the counter-attack, a strategy that Valencia normally like to use but cannot tonight given their need to score at least twice and win an away match in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in their history. That task for the Spaniards is further complicated by the return of Thiago Silva to PSG's defence. How Valencia would relish such a reinforcement given their own defensive absences tonight – with Rami and Costa out injured, Mathieu, normally a left-back, has to play in the centre of their defence. I expect PSG to progress but I also know that they have more than a bit of the banjaxed abacus about them: you can't really count on them.

PSG: Sirigu, Jallet, Thiago Silva, Alex, Maxwell, Chantome,
Thiago Motta, Matuidi, Pastore, Lucas Moura, Lavezzi. Subs:
Douchez, Sakho, Camara, Gameiro, Armand, Van Der Wiel, Beckham.

Valencia: Guaita, Barragan, Mathieu, Victor Ruiz, Cissokho,
Parejo, Albelda, Feghouli, Tino Costa, Jonas, Soldado. Subs:
Diego Alves, Ever, Piatti, Joao Pereira, Haedo Valdez, Guardado,

Referee: Milorad Mazic (Serbia)


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