CSKA bow out in style
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
A hat-trick from Sergei Semak earned CSKA Moscow a 3-1 victory at PSG.
A magnificent hat-trick from captain Sergei Semak was insufficient for CSKA Moscow to reach the second round of the UEFA Champions League, despite a 3-1 success over Paris Saint Germain.
Semak's treble appeared to have the Russians on course for the runners-up spot in Group H, until Porto snatched a winner five minutes from time at home to Chelsea.
At Parc des Princes, Semak's first half goal was cancelled out by Fabrice Pancrate before the visitors were reduced to ten men by Deividas Semberas' unfair dismissal.
CSKA skipper Semak then won the game for the away side before PSG substitute Bernard Mendy was sent off for a second yellow card in injury time.
PSG suffered a damaging blow after just three minutes when Chelsea target Modeste M'Bami was stretchered off following a challenge with Jiri Jarosik.
The setback appeared to hamper PSG for much of the first half and the French club were indebted to goalkeeper Lionel Letizi for staying in the game.
Letizi produced a smart block from close range to thwart Semak before he reacted quickly to save with his legs after Rolan Gusev volleyed in at the far post.
Jarosik's deflected free kick provided Letizi with an easier save while, after a neat move by the Russians, the impressive Yuri Zhirkov flashed a shot narrowly over the bar.
CSKA had their hosts on the rack and it was no surprise when they took the lead just before the half hour mark as Vagner Love's cross to the near post was deftly turned in by Semak.
Scenting more goals, CSKA piled on the pressure with Jarosik volleying over and Vagner Love missing the target after more good work from Zhirkov.
But, from nowhere, PSG drew level on 37 minutes when Pauleta's shot was pushed out by Igor Akinfeev and Pancrate, who had flicked on to the Portugal ace initially, reacted swiftly to poke home the rebound.
The hosts must have received a rocket from coach Vahid Halilhodzic at the interval as they were noticeably brighter after the break with Pauleta shooting wide from 25 yards.
CSKA were then harshly reduced to ten men after a joke decision by referee Markus Merk to send Semberas off for a second bookable offence. The Lithuanian received his marching orders for deliberate handball when the ball clearly brushed his thigh.
From the resulting free kick, Pauleta's shot was deflected for a corner, from which the striker produced an Andy Gray-esque header which drifted just wide of the far post.
The visitors were not unduly affected by the red card after poor defending from PSG allowed CSKA to forge back ahead on 64 minutes. Vagner Love's shot was not cleared and the ball fell for Semak to drill into the far corner of the net.
With 20 minutes to go, CSKA tightened their grip on the contest as Semak completed his hat-trick with a sumptuous strike. He darted in from the left and curled a delicious shot beyond the despairing Letizi into the far corner.
A clever free kick almost gave Sergei Ignashevich a fourth goal for CSKA before PSG's Mendy was dismissed for tangling with Zhirkov in injury time.
Such a commanding victory, after an excellent performance, merited a second round spot for CSKA but they will have to settle for the consolation of Uefa Cup football in the spring.Click here for player ratings
|Paris Saint Germain||Team Statistics||CSKA Moscow|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|2||Shots on Target||7|
|7||Shots off Target||7|