UEFA Women’s Champions League – Paris Saint-Germain (5) 4-1 (4) LSK Kvinner: Parisians make stunning revival

A Verónica Boquete penalty and a sublime hat trick from Cristiane saw PSG over-turn their 3-1 loss to LSK and march on to the next round of the UEFA Women's Champions League.

Perfect start

After seeing their advantage dissolve last week as LSK went on to close out a fortunate 3-1 win leaving PSG with it all to do at home, the Parisians couldn’t have asked for a better start. When Sherida Spitse was penalised for a high-boot on Shirley Cruz inside the box in the third minute there was only one place Sara Persson was left pointing as Verónica Boquete stepped up to take the resulting penalty. Watching Lill Karlsrud drive to her left, Boquete calmly rolled to the ball into the waiting net to give the hosts a huge boost with the game barely having had time to draw breath.

Already a goal up and with the home advantage, PSG began to pepper Karlsrud’s goal forcing save after save out of the veteran 'keeper. Karlsrud was over-worked and her team mates were struggling for rhythm as the hosts began to overrun their opposition, before doubling their advantage twenty minutes in.

After picking up the ball in midfield, Cristiane used her momentum to carry her sideways across the pitch, letting fly when she was lined up with the penalty spot; the ball lazered towards the top corner and into the back of the net from 22 yards.

Still the onslaught continued as Erika and Eve Perisset both drew saves from Karlsrud before the latter slammed a 20-yard effort against the upright with the 'keeper beaten. As the game wore on the visitors began to show slightly more attacking intent and general cohesion, like an old heater turned on at dawn on a frozen winter’s morning, there were rumbles of life but the hosts were unmoved.

Their first chance, and first shot came after the half-hour, Isabell Herlovsen's eventual header curled over the top of the bar with Katarzyna Kiedrzynek beaten. Spitse’s 38 minute corner proved too deep for her team mates as it continued it’s arc out for a throw-in; the visitors were not covering themselves in glory as PSG once more began to flow forward.

However, LSK had the chance to get themselves back into the game late in the half. Heavy pressure from Herlovsen forced an uncharacteristic mistake at the back as Kiedrzynek half-cleared the ball directly to Emilie Haavi. With the 'keeper frantically scrambling back to goal, all Haavi needed to do was stayed composed and pick her spot in the open goal but the Norwegian international buckled under pressure and ripped her shot high over the bar.

There was no looking back for PSG following Boquete's fourth minute penalty
There was no looking back for PSG following Boquete's fourth minute penalty

As you were

It was more of the same in the second-half as PSG added a third after a pin-point cross from Cruz to pick out Cristiane on the far side of the box. Getting away from her marker with ease, the Brazilian international met the ball in mid-air and with a deft flick of her neck muscles sent it diagonally across goal and into the far side of the net with Karlsrud rooted.

Even with their advantage the hosts continued to hunt for more, Marie-Antoinette Katoto was  next to test out Karlsrud before Cristiane completed her hat-trick to leave the visitors needing two in fifteen minutes. Superb from the off, her third goal was yet another strike of pure quality as she received the ball just inside the D before rifling her shot into the top corner.

The game continued on in scrappy fashion, the referee consistent blew her whistle for soft fouls, the hosts were more than happy with the fragmented nature knowing that with the ball they could glide forward and attack in numbers.

As the clock ticked down, there seemed no way back for the visitors, still without a shot on target as the game rolled into stoppage time and unable to get the ball down and play at any point throughout the game they frantically looked for an opening. With LSK pushing, PSG were happy to sit, blue shirts packed their box as no one in white could get a clean shot away at a corner, Ingrid Wold opted to try her arm from outside the box but Kiedrzynek was able to gather the wide effort.

Substitute Marte Berget very nearly set-up a grandstand finish as she connected with a Haavi cross, her boot extended to reach the ball before Laura George – LSK’s first shot on target had yielded fruit but with just 90 seconds left there would be no drama.

After having the better of it for most of the first-leg but coming away 3-1 down, PSG rose to the challenge with aplomb, easing through the game as Cristiane added stunning goal after stunning goal to over-turn the deficit and see them through to the next round. A strong statement from Patrice Lair’s side, even with their backs against the wall they can still produce good looking football.