The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Champions League: Motta scores twice as Paris Saint-Germain beats Olympiakos 4-1 in Group C
PIRAEUS, Greece - Thiago Motta headed in two second-half goals as Paris Saint-Germain beat Olympiakos 4-1 in a Champions League Group C match on Tuesday.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic missed a late penalty for the French champions, but set up their first goal in the 19th minute, picking out Maxwell in the area before Edinson Cavani sprinted forward for the tap in.
Vladimir Weiss tore through the PSG defence for the equalizer six minutes later, weaving past three defenders for an impressive solo effort.
The French club patiently pushed forward, and forced Olympiakosto to defend for most of the second half.
Substitute Ezequiel Lavezzi gave PSG additional against a tiring Olympiakos defence. He provided the corner kicks headed in by Motta with identical precision in the 68th minute and the 73rd. Marquinios completed the scoring with another header in the 86th.
"They caused us some problems as we expected from Olympiakos at home. But we gained possession and Olympiakos used up a lot of their energy in the first half. Their performance fell off considerably in the second half, so we kept playing hard and we got the result," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said.
"We fell too far back in the first half ... but closed the gap between defence and our forwards after the break. We had a lot more space in the second half ... I am certainly happy with the result."
Cheered on by 30,000 noisy fans at Karaiskaki Stadium, the Greeks club had a strong start and hit the bar twice in 15 minutes, with Weiss in the opening seconds and again with David Fuster.
But PSG withstood the early threats and waited out the hosts, with Ibrahimovic falling back and Uruguay striker Cavani posing a constant threat.
Ibrahimovic was knocked to the ground by Andreas Samaris but missed from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute, his shot saved by newly-signed Olympiakos goalkeeper Roberto Jimenez.
"The score made it look like Paris Saint-Germain had an easy win, but that wasn't the case. To lose this way and with that score was tough for us." Olympiakos coach Michel Gonzalez said.
"We lost energy and stopped circulating the ball properly, so that let them into the game ... When you make mistakes at this level, to pay dearly for them," he added
Olympiakos midfielder Yiannis Maniatis thanked fans for their continued support as their team fell behind.
"We played an open game against PSG and the fans were tremendous ... But it was those three dead balls that cost us," he said. "We really let ourselves down. You lose control for a minute and the goals start going in against you."
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