PSG coach Ancelotti mystified by Ibrahimovic red card

Reuters, Wednesday 13 Feb 2013

Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red card for a wild lunge on defender Andres Guardado

Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint Germain's Zlatan Ibrahimovic walks off after receiving a red card in the final moments of their Champions League soccer match against Valencia at Mestalla stadium in Valencia February 12, 2013. (Photo: REUTERS)

Paris St Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti said he was surprised at the decision to send off Zlatan Ibrahimovic late in Tuesday's 2-1 Champions League last 16, first leg victory at Valencia.

The Sweden striker got a straight red card after lunging at fullback Andres Guardado with his studs up but Ancelotti said he felt it was harsh on the volatile Ibrahimovic who suffered his third sending off in Europe's elite club competition.

"I did not understand it," Ancelotti told a news conference.

"He was out on the wing, he made a tackle and he did not deserve to be sent off," the Italian added. "That's football."

Ancelotti said he was satisfied with the result despite Valencia's 90th-minute goal giving the La Liga club a sliver of hope for the return leg in Paris in three weeks' time, when the talismanic Ibrahimovic will be suspended.

He dismissed suggestions his players had eased off towards the end of the game.

"I don't think we relaxed and we could even have scored a third on a couple of occasions. The team played a good match, we controlled the ball well and I'm pleased with our performance.

"Valencia showed their quality, we defended and worked well. We won the ball back well and made some swift counter attacks."

PSG defender Mamadou Sakho said the Ligue 1 leaders were upset at conceding late on after establishing a 2-0 halftime lead and squandering several chances to score a third goal in the second period at the Mestalla.

"We're disappointed to concede a goal, especially at the end of the game," he said on UEFA's website (www.uefa.com). "But overall, it's a good result. To come here and win is very good after all."

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