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Champions League

UCL: Paris Saint-Germain Rebound With Big Win Over Ludogorets

Paris Saint-Germain's French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola gestures to fans after winning the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Ludogorets Razgrad and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia on September 28, 2016. / AFP / NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV (Photo credit should read NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain were forced to rally from a goal down to silence Georgi Dermendzhiev’s Ludogorets Razgrad at the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria by the score of 3-1 in UEFA Champions League action. The victory keeps PSG second in Group A behind Arsenal. Natanael opened the scoring on 15 minutes before the favorites stormed back.

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After some warning shots from Lucas Moura (29′) and Thiago Silva (30′), Paris leveled the scores through Blaise Matuidi on 41 minutes. In the second half, it was all Paris Saint-Germain. Edinson Cavani kept his scoring form going with the eventual match winner in the 55th minute. Following a saved penalty from Alphonse Areola in the 58th, Cavani secured a brace on 61 minutes to slam the door shut on an upset bid.

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“We absolutely had to stay calm when we conceded the goal, we had to play with confidence,” said Emery. “That’s how the players’ qualities come to the fore. Tonight, the most important thing is the win. The goal just before half-time did us the world of good and we were able to play our game in the second half. This win is a deserved one. Tonight I decided to field the midfield trio of Verratti, Motta and Matuidi and they stepped up. But when I field other players, they will live up to expectations as well.”

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“The beginning of the match was very tough; it’s never simple when you don’t know your opponent so well,” said Thiago Silva. “After conceding we managed to take control of the match and create a lot of chances. We’re happy with the result, even though it was hard fought.”

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“That was no easy match. They were really up for it,” said Matuidi of Ludogorets’s feistiness. “There were a lot of chances – it was an open match – but we managed to react and level it before the break before killing it off. I think we played our game tonight. We were patient, but we also managed to get forward at pace from time to time. And that made for a great match of football.”

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“The first half was difficult after we conceded that goal,” added Cavani. “But after our equaliser, we played our own game. We found a way to put into place the things we work on in training. This is an important win. We need to keep working hard in order to keep on getting the wins.”

Paris Saint-Germain’s next match is on Saturday, Oct. 1 at home to Joceyln Gourvennec’s Girondins de Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for the match, which kicks off at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET.

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  • At least 40 fouls will be whistled.
  • At least five cards will be issued.
  • Edinson Cavani will score for Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Lucas Moura will score for Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Alphonse Areola will make at least four saves.
  • A goal will be scored in the first 15 minutes.
  • No goals will be scored in the last 15 minutes and stoppage time.
  • Cedric Carrasso will make at least four saves.
  • Gaetan Laborde will score for Girondins de Bordeaux.
  • Malcom will score for Girondins de Bordeaux.

Paris Saint-Germain 2, Girondins de Bordeaux 2

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