Paris Saint-Germain moved closer to the next round in the Champions League with a 4-0 drubbing of Dinamo Zagreb. Zlatan Ibrahimovic keyed the PSG attack with a hand in all four goals.
Ibrahimovic has spent most of this season finishing on the attacking end, but on Tuesday the Swedish striker turned provider. Ibrahimovic showed his wonderful touch and vision in the passing game in setting up all of PSG's goals.
PSG looked a like a different team from the one that lost at home to Saint-Etienne last Saturday. PSG pressured the ball further up the pitch, resulting in winning the ball in more favorable positions.
Forcing the issue opened up space for Ezequiel Lavezzi and Jérémy Menez. Both were instrumental in keeping Zagreb on their heels.
PSG opened the scoring 16 minutes in through Alex with Ibra assisting. Even though PSG was controlling the game, this was to be the only breakthrough in the first half.
PSG started the second half by continuing the pressure. All the hard work paid off when Ibrahimovic found Blaise Matuidi with a fabulous through ball. Matuidi calmly slotted the pass home for a two-goal lead.
Minutes later Ibra found Menez in space on the edge of the box. Menez used an excellent first touch to remove one defender from the play before stepping past a second and finishing.
In the 77th minute Guillaume Hoarau, on for Lavezzi, found himself the recipient of another Ibra pass to finish off the scoring. Ibra's assist came after he slipped on the turf and used his martial arts training to strike the ball to Hoarau from the ground.
Ibrahimovic's fine play extended beyond his passing. He constantly made himself available higher up the pitch to receive the ball, making the defense spread out to cover him.
Outside of Ibra, Matuidi was impressive in his all around play. Maxwell also had a tremendous game closing out defensively, and also making overlapping runs and creating confusion in the Zagreb defense with his probing runs.
Adrien Rabiot was also handed a start in midfield. The 17-year-old played well and continues to provide fans with a look at a future star for club and country. His development alongside Marco Verratti will give PSG a stellar midfield for years to come.
Overall, it was a solid bounce-back performance for the Parisians. If Carlo Ancelotti can get Javier Pastore and Lavezzi in form then PSG will begin to realize their immense potential.
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