Match Report: Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off but PSG take command

Valencia 1 Paris St-Germain 2

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The Independent Football

Paris St-Germain conceded a late goal and had Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off in added time at Valencia in the Champions League last-16 first leg match.

The French side looked to be strolling into the quarter-finals after they took the lead in the 10th minute through Ezequiel Lavezzi and his Argentina team mate Javier Pastore added a second goal two minutes before half-time.

Valencia improved after their coach Ernesto Valverde made a couple of changes at the break and it was no more than they deserved when centre back Adil Rami surged into the area and volleyed home in the 90th minute.

Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red card for a wild lunge on defender Andrés Guardado in the second minute of added time but, even without the Sweden striker for the return leg in Paris on 6 March, PSG will still be favourites to progress.

PSG’s latest signing, the former England captain David Beckham, watched from the stands and will return to the French capital with the squad today for his first training session.

Valencia had more of the ball in the early stages without really threatening Salvatore Sirigu’s goal and were dealt a blow when Lavezzi exchanged passes with Pastore before racing past his marker into the area and blasting the ball into the net.

Lucas, who struck a long-range effort against a post moments before Lavezzi’s goal, then set up the second goal. The Brazilian burst into the box from the right and pulled the ball back for fellow midfielder Pastore to send a first-time shot past goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

“It is a poor result for us but we have some hope and we will try to turn things around in Paris,” Valencia’s Sergio Canales, who came on as a substitute at half-time, told the Spanish television broadcaster TVE.