Champions League review

Lavezzi secures PSG's safe passage

March 6, 2013

Paris St Germain slugged rather than sashayed their way through to the Champions League quarter-finals after drawing 1-1 with Valencia at the Parc des Princes.

Ezequiel Lavezzi forces home the goal which put PSG back in front on aggregate against Valencia
GettyImagesEzequiel Lavezzi forces home the goal which put PSG back in front on aggregate against Valencia

It took the jolt of a fine Valencia goal from Jonas early in the second half to rouse the home side, and Ezequiel Lavezzi's equaliser secured a draw on the night and a narrow aggregate win.

It was Lavezzi's second goal of the tie after he and Javier Pastore scored in Spain three weeks ago. PSG were in full control at the Mestalla until a dramatic injury-time period saw Adil Rami pull a goal back and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off, making the second leg increasingly complicated on two counts.

Ibrahimovic was given a two-match ban by UEFA, and the Sweden striker was certainly missed on the field for this return leg as he watched from the stands. Without him, the home side were toothless in the first half. They certainly did not appear a side capable of reaching the Wembley final on May 25, but on they go.

Celtic's Champions League journey ended with a 5-0 aggregate defeat by Juventus after goals from Alessandro Matri and Fabio Quagliarella secured a 2-0 win on the night in rain-lashed Turin.

Juve took what turned out to be an unassailable three-goal lead from the first leg into the game and any faint hopes of a Hoops comeback ended in the 24th minute when Matri opened the scoring from close range.

Quagliarella notched the second in the 65th minute as the spirited Parkhead men were again punished heavily for a lack of concentration.

However, in the final analysis, Celtic can only look at their European campaign in a positive light. The Hoops won two qualifiers against HJK Helsinki and Helsingborg, before finishing second in Group G to Barcelona, whom they famously beat at Celtic Park, at the expense of Benfica and Spartak Moscow.

Lennon will have another crack at it next year and although they will have to negotiate three qualifiers, his players will be all the better for this season's continental experiences.