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VIDEO: PSG frustrated in draw with Anderlecht

AFP/The Local · 6 Nov 2013, 08:16

Published: 06 Nov 2013 08:16 GMT+01:00

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On a frustrating night at the Parc des Princes, PSG had most of the possession and no shortage of chances, but they fell behind to a Demy De Zeeuw goal midway through the second half and needed a Zlatan Ibrahimovic strike moments later just to earn them a point against a visiting side that had Sacha Kljestan sent off late on.

The nature of this encounter in the French capital contrasted starkly with the sides' encounter in Brussels two weeks ago, when PSG recorded their biggest ever away victory in continental competition, trouncing Anderlecht 5-0.

Laurent Blanc's men might have clinched top spot in the section with two games to spare in the event of a win, but instead they will need a draw at home to Olympiakos later this month to be sure of their last-16 berth.

Anderlecht, meanwhile, will be pleased to have recovered some pride and registered their first point of the campaign.

"It was a very nice surprise," visiting coach John Van den Brom said of the outcome. "I am very proud of my players after some of the criticism they have received recently, especially after the poor result against PSG last time."

Blanc was without Edinson Cavani due to a thigh injury, but he was able to welcome back Ibrahimovic after a nagging knee problem forced him to miss last Friday's 4-0 demolition of Lorient in Ligue 1.

The Belgian champions had hinted that they would settle for any kind of improvement on the thrashing they suffered in the last meeting of the clubs, and they predictably adopted a cautious approach in an attempt to frustrate their hosts this time.

It worked in the first half, with PSG unable to break down a defence comprising six men when the home side had possession, and early efforts from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Ibrahimovic that both missed the target were as close as they came in the opening period.

Having initially been prepared to utilise Dennis Praet, their most likely creative spark, as an auxiliary right-back, Anderlecht slowly grew into the contest and their teenage Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic flashed a shot just over Salvatore Sirigu's goal.

PSG fans that have become used to seeing much better from their team greeted the half-time whistle with jeers, but there was worse to come after
the restart.

Ibrahimovic headed just wide from a Thiago Motta corner before teeing up Lucas to volley wastefully off target from an excellent position, and instead it was the visitors who drew first blood in the 68th minute to the disbelief of the entire stadium.

Praet found Kljestan on the edge of the box to the left, and the American midfielder cut the ball back for Dutchman De Zeeuw, who beat Sirigu with a low first-time effort to finally break his team's goalscoring duck in this season's competition.

PSG, though,  needed just two minutes to draw level, Blaise Matuidi finding Ibrahimovic, and the Swede poking the ball over the line after his initial effort had hit the post to make it five goals in two games against Anderlecht.

Blanc's side poured forward in search of the goal that would have won them the game and taken them through to the last 16, but they couldn't find it, even after the energetic Kljestan had been sent off for a second yellow card for handling nine minutes from the end.

Story continues below…

Laurent Blanc, for his part, told reporters after the match that his team's failure to seal their last 16 berth may have been caused by players buying into the widespread hype that followed PSG's thrashing of Anderlecht last week.

"We the staff try to prepare the players to win. But there are people around who are saying: 'How many goals are you going to score against Anderlecht etc?' so maybe subconsciously they think that all they need to do is step on the pitch to win the game," said Blanc.

Watch highlights from last night's 1-1 draw here.

Paris-Anderlecht : Le 1 minute par PSG

AFP/The Local (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

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