Rami rescues late goal in PSG triumph

Javier Pastore netted the second goal for PSG against Valencia

Javier Pastore netted the second goal for PSG against Valencia

First published in National Sport News © by

Adil Rami popped up with a crucial stoppage-time strike to hand Valencia a lifeline in their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris St Germain which finished 2-1 in favour of the away side at the Mestalla.

PSG looked on course for a dream result as first-half goals by Argentinian duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore put Carlo Ancelotti's men firmly in the driving seat, but their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals suffered a setback in the space of two wild minutes at the end of the contest.

First Rami stole in behind the defence to reduce the arrears for Los Che before PSG's talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off for aiming a stamp at Andres Guardado. The red card means Ibrahimovic is suspended for the return leg along with defensive midfielder Marco Verratti, who picked up his third booking of the campaign.

Lucas Moura was a thorn in Valencia's side in the opening period and PSG did not have long before they opened the scoring.

Lavezzi started and finished the move, exchanging passes with Pastore on the edge of the area and advancing beyond the lunging challenge of Ricardo Costa before crashing a powerful finish beyond Vicente Guaita, who should perhaps have done better.

PSG's second goal arrived two minutes before the break, but again the Valencia goalkeeper will feel he should have done better.

Lucas, having impressed with a couple of surging runs from his own half, gave a demonstration of what he can deliver in the final third as he beat two men on the byline before running into the area and pulling the ball back for Pastore, whose first-time finish went through the legs of Guaita.

Costa was culpable for Valencia's late reply as he created the chance with a chipped free-kick over the top of the Valencia defence, although as the ball floated into the six-yard box the goalkeeper should have come to claim.

Instead, Salvatore Sirigu stayed rooted to his line, leaving Rami unchallenged as he cleverly steered the ball into the net.

And with almost the very last action of the night PSG's efforts were further diluted when Ibrahimovic allowed himself to become riled as he challenged with two Valencia players and went over the ball in a challenge with Guardado, prompting the referee to brandish the red card.

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