MX23RW : Saturday, November 17 22:18:04

Match Analysis: Ajax 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain

Sports Mole takes a closer look at how Ajax came back in the second half to draw 1-1 with Paris Saint-Germain in their opening Champions League Group F game.

Paris Saint-Germain were forced to settle for a point in their opening Champions League Group F game as Ajax fought back to earn a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam.

The visitors took the lead on 14 minutes when Edinson Cavani buried into an empty net from 10 yards, after a Nicolai Boilesen mistake put Ajax in trouble.

Lucas Moura and Marquinhos missed chances for PSG to regain the lead, and the hosts went on to level the scores on 74 minutes when Salvatore Sirigu could not keep out Lasse Schone's free kick.

Below, Sports Mole analyses whether the result was reflective of the action in Holland.

Match statistics

Shots: 11
On target: 2
Possession: 51%
Corners: 2
Fouls: 14

Shots: 15
On target: 6
Possession: 49%
Corners: 6
Fouls: 9

Was the result fair?

It was a prime example of a classic footballing story; dominant team take the lead and continue to have chances to extend their advantage, but are punished for poor finishing when the underdogs come up with a late equaliser. PSG really should have had this game wrapped up before Schone's strike, but credit to Ajax for their fightback.

Ajax's performance

The hosts were quickly overwhelmed by PSG's star-studded attack as the French champions controlled the opening half-hour. Most of the chances that they conceded, though, came as a result of their own mistakes rather than the excellence of PSG's play. Boilesen's howler set the tone for an error-prone display from the Ajax defence, who were particularly vulnerable in wide areas - right-back Ricardo van Rhijn could not contend with the PSG runners. While they were open at the back all game, the character of his side will please Frank de Boer as they rallied, firstly at the end of the opening 45 minutes and then after the break, with a greater sense of intent clear. Davy Klaassen and Schone were their bright sparks in attack, and the latter had the quality from set pieces to beat Sirigu once and force him to tip onto the post minutes later. They rode their luck, but this young side were up against world stars and perhaps fortune is the least that they deserved.

PSG's performance

The French side attacked with such numbers that they constantly cut apart an inexperienced Ajax defence, but showed poor composure in front of goal. Lucas, Marquinhos and Gregory van der Wiel all found themselves in situations where they should have extended PSG's lead, or provided somebody else to extend it, but got things badly wrong. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, returning to the club where he first made a name for himself, showed the extent of his passing range with a couple of splendid first-time balls and the visitors surely would have left with the three points had any of their clear chances at 1-0 fallen to the Swede. Their defence had little to worry about for much of the game, but looked a little shaky when they were put under pressure in the final 10 minutes and badly miss the calming presence of Thiago Silva.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Lasse Schone: The Dane may be the next top talent taken from Ajax by another major European club. He was the man looking to get on the ball and make things happen for the Dutch champions and displayed a lovely touch as well as good vision. He sure can strike a free kick too.

Biggest gaffe

Boilesen argued that he was fouled for PSG's goal, but the full-back was simply not strong enough on the ball under the challenge of Lucas and had chances to clear before the Brazilian took it from him. Five seconds later, the ball was in the net, and Boilesen looked to the assistant referee in vain.

Referee performance

Wolfgang Stark ended up having a pretty busy night, dishing out five yellow cards in total. He was right to ignore Boilesen's complaints regarding the first goal, and, although Ajax disputed a couple of other decisions, the official had a good night. The German, known to be a disciplinarian, could have easily sent off Ajax substitute Anwar El Ghazi for a petulant kick out at Maxwell which cost him only a yellow card.

What next?

Ajax: De Boer's side visit old Dutch rivals Feyenoord on Sunday and resume their European campaign when they travel to Cyprus to take on Group F's bottom seeds APOEL Nicosia on September 30.

PSG: The French outfit will look to kickstart a stuttering Ligue 1 season against Lyon on Saturday, and then have their Champions League credentials tested in Barcelona at the end of the month.

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Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani celebrates with teammates Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lucas after scoring during the UEFA Champions League football match Ajax Amsterdam vs Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in Amsterdam, on September 17, 2014
Read Next:
Live Commentary: Ajax 1-1 PSG - as it happened

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