Thu, Nov 08, 2012 - Page 18 News List

UEFA Champions League: Zagreb fall 4-0 to PSG’s unstoppable striker Ibrahimovic

Reuters, PARIS

Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up all four goals as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed GNK Dinamo Zagreb 4-0 on Tuesday to knock the Croatians out of the Champions League.

The Sweden striker, playing in a deeper position than usual, laid on goals for Alex, Blaise Matuidi, Jeremy Menez and Guillaume Hoarau as second-placed PSG took their points haul to nine from four matches in Group A, one behind leaders FC Porto.

“He [Ibrahimovic] uses his abilities to help the others and that is why he is a fantastic player,” PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti told reporters.

PSG were below their best in a dull first half, but they turned on the style in the second period to outclass their opponents.

Dinamo are bottom of the table with zero points, four behind FC Dynamo Kiev who drew 0-0 with Porto on Tuesday.

Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, who had been out for a month with a groin injury, started the game and produced some eye-catching early tricks for PSG.

Dinamo went close when Josip Pivaric’s low cross-shot went just wide.

The home side took the lead with their first real chance as defender Alex volleyed in a low center from Ibrahimovic in the 16th minute.

Thiago Silva almost made it 2-0 in the 40th minute when the Brazil defender’s point-blank header was saved by ‘keeper Ivan Kelava.

Seventeen-year-old Adrien Rabiot, a product of the youth academy, shone for PSG in the first half.

His fellow midfielder Mohamed Sissoko was replaced at halftime by Marco Verratti after the former Liverpool player had picked up an injury.

Ibrahimovic delighted the crowd early in the second half when he produced a kung fu-style volley that went just wide.

The Swede then provided a perfect 61st-minute pass for Matuidi to poke the ball home.

Four minutes later, Ibrahimovic found Menez in the box and the France winger toyed with a couple of defenders before slotting the ball past Kelava.

Ibrahimovic seemed set to score himself from one attack, but slipped after in the box.

However, he recovered his composure and slipped the ball into the path of second-half substitute Hoarau, who scored the fourth goal from close range with 10 minutes left.

“We lacked focus at the back, but we are a very young side. Ibrahimovic sees things that others don’t. We’re not the last team who will struggle to contain him,” Dinamo manager Ante Cacic said.

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