PSG salvage a point
Zlatan Ibrahimovic salvaged a 1-1 home draw for Paris Saint-Germain against RSC Anderlecht as the French champions were made to wait for a UEFA Champions League round-of-16 spot on Tuesday. Demy de Zeeuw opened the scoring for the Belgians in the 68th minute, only for Ibrahimovic to equalize two minutes later from inside the penalty area. Anderlecht were reduced to 10 men in the 82nd minute when Sacha Kljestan was shown a second yellow card, but the visitors, who lost 5-0 at home to PSG two weeks previously, held firm. The French side lead Group C with 10 points from four games, three ahead of Olympiakos. “I would not say we lacked the desire to play,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc told a press conference. “We were too average in all departments, we were not good technically, which had not happened to us in a along time. Anderlecht were rewarded for their efforts.”
Roberto gains his revenge
An inspired Roberto gained sweet revenge on former club SL Benfica by helping Olympiakos earn three precious points in a 1-0 UEFA Champions League win on Tuesday. The Spanish goalkeeper, who left Benfica under a cloud in 2011 after just one season, was the difference between the Group C opponents, making a string of superb saves as the Greek champions held on for victory courtesy of Kostas Manolas’ first-half header. “Roberto was something greater than a saint tonight, maybe only the Pope is more saintly,” said delighted Olympiakos coach Michel, who ran across the pitch to congratulate his goalkeeper at the final whistle. “He had a difficult time at Benfica and sometimes football is unjust like that, then at the next minute you are vindicated, and I believe that is the case with Roberto. He proved his worth with his performance tonight, he really was a tower of strength. It has earned him an invitation to my house this week for dinner.”
Bayer draw in Ukraine
Bayer 04 Leverkusen took a step toward qualification for the UEFA Champions league round-of-16 with a battling 0-0 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk in Group A on Tuesday. “The game turned more difficult than we could expect, Shakhtar are a completely different team when playing at home. Our ’keeper Bernd Leno had a few lethal saves earning us a point in this game,” Bayer coach Sami Hyypia told reporters. “Four points in two games with them is a good outcome for us. There is everything still open in our group.” “We are really upset about not winning this game,” Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu said. “Our young players had five or six clear chances to score, but it was the night of their ’keeper Bernd Leno and we are applauding his outstanding reactions.”
Braaten downs Galatasaray
Daniel Braaten’s deft flick gave Copenhagen a 1-0 win over Galatasaray on Tuesday as the Danish champions stayed in the hunt for a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages. Braaten got the hosts off to a flying start, applying a glancing touch to Rurik Gislason’s precise center to turn the ball home six minutes into the Group B match. Galatasaray clawed their way back into the game, hitting a post and having a goal disallowed for offside, but despite going close several times in a pulsating second half they could not fashion an equalizer. “It’s fantastic. It’s brilliant and indescribably beautiful,” Copenhagen defender Lars Jacobsen told TV station 3+.