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Football | Champions League

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi © Action Images

Ibra sent off in PSG win, Juve cruise

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off in stoppage time as Paris St Germain earned a 2-1 win at Valencia, while Juventus moved closer to the quarterfinals of the Champions League with a 3-0 victory at Celtic in first-leg matches of the last 16 on Tuesday.

Argentinians Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore put French league leaders PSG in charge at Valencia, but the visitors conceded a last-minute goal from Adil Rami and then had Sweden striker Ibrahimovic dismissed for a foot-high tackle on Andres Guardado.

Lavezzi played a one-two with Pastore before hitting the net with a fierce angled drive in the 10th minute as ambitious PSG - with new signing David Beckham watching from the stands - began in confident fashion.

Pastore followed up with a first-time shot two minutes before the break from a pass from the right by Brazilian Lucas Moura who dribbled his way free near the goal-line.

But what looked to be a comfortable evening for the big-spending French side ended with Rami getting on the end of a Tino Costa free-kick for a Valencia goal in the last minute.

Even worse, Ibrahimovic was sent off two minutes into stoppage time when he went in with his studs up in a tussle for a loose ball with Guardado, and will now miss the return leg.

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PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said: "Valencia are a good team, so we did well, but we are only really at halftime in this match. The second half is still to come in Paris."

Valencia midfielder Sergio Canales said they would go to Paris with hope despite the defeat.

"We knew they had quality up front and they showed that," he said. "There is still a lot left in this tie and - even though we know it will be difficult - we will look to score early over there to give ourselves a chance."

In Glasgow, Serie A champions Juventus earned a 3-0 victory in an intense affair at Celtic Park thanks to an early strike from Alessandro Matri and two goals in five minutes late in the second half from Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic.

Juve punished Celtic with a goal after three minutes which resulted from a long ball which caught Efe Ambrose, straight back from Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations final victory in Johannesburg on Sunday, out of position.

Matri managed to poke the ball through the legs of keeper Fraser Forster, with the ball crossing the line before Kelvin Wilson cleared to Marchisio, who also netted for good measure.

Celtic responded well with a good deal of pressure, Kristian Commons going closest before the break with an overhead kick narrowly wide of the post.

Ambrose had a chance to make amends with space in front of goal from a cross by Charlie Mulgrew after the hour but he could only head the ball down and straight to Gianluigi Buffon in goal.

Juve created little but after soaking up the pressure fired a warning when Vucinic got a shot in on goal which Wilson blocked inside the six-yard box.

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The Italians then punished Celtic in the 77th minute when a finely worked move down the left led to Matri flicking the ball to Marchisio who cut inside Scott Brown before beating Forster with a right-foot shot.

Worse was to come for the Scottish side when Ambrose was caught in possession five minutes later, and Marchisio passed to Vucinic who finished clinically past the keeper.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon said his side now "need a miracle" in the return leg in Turin.

"The scoreline flatters Juventus," he said. "For 70-odd minutes we were by far the better side but you can't give away sloppy goals.

"We took a gamble on Efe Ambrose but he was poor for the first goal and he missed a great chance to equalize. We switched off for the second and third goals."

Two more last-16 matches are scheduled Wednesday, when Shakhtar Donetsk play Borussia Dortmund, and Real Madrid meet Manchester United. The remaining first-leg matches will be played next week.


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