Football

PSG face anxious wait

GROUP A
PARIS ST GERMAIN LUDOGORETS RAZGRAD
2 2
(Edinson Cavani 61, Angel di Maria 90+2) (Virgil Misidjan 15, Wanderson 69)

After faltering in the Champions League quarter-finals four times in a row, Paris St Germain could face the prospect of a last-16 exit after a mediocre performance against Ludogorets Razgrad saw them finish in second place in Group A.

PSG needed an injury-time equaliser by Angel di Maria to salvage 2-2 home draw against the Bulgarian side yesterday morning (Singapore time), but that result still allowed Arsenal, who beat Basel 4-1, to leapfrog them into first place.

PSG will now await Monday's Round-of-16 draw anxiously, hoping to avoid an earlier-than-hoped meeting with either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

"Top spot was our goal. We have qualified, but we should have won this game. I was expecting more from the players," said club president Nasser al Khelaifi.

PSG could also face Leicester, Napoli, Juventus, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, or Borussia Dortmund.

PSG had shown signs of weakness at the weekend, losing 3-0 at Montpellier in Ligue 1 in their biggest defeat in over five years, but they failed to react yesterday morning, defending poorly again.

"It's a bad result. I am worried because we don't usually concede so many goals," said coach Unai Emery.

PSG have conceded five goals in their last two games - as many as in their 10 previous matches in all competitions.

In the absence of the suspended Marco Verratti and the injured Adrien Rabiot, they also lacked creativity in midfield.

To add to their woes, Thiago Motta will be suspended for the first leg of their last-16 game.

Despite an under-par performance in the group phase, where they won only three games, the team and Emery are still backed by Al Khelaifi.

"I trust my players and my coach," he said.

Emery took over from Laurent Blanc during the close season after the former France coach led the club to three successive French titles. - REUTERS

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