Angel Di Maria on target as PSG take three points against FC Basel

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Angel Di Maria scored his first goal of the season to put Paris St Germain on course for a 3-0 Champions League win over Basel.

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The Argentina international smashed home five minutes before the break before Lucas Moura’s second-half strike and a late Edinson Cavani penalty sealed victory to keep Unai Emery’s men level on points with Arsenal at the top of Group A.

Swiss champions Basel caused the hosts plenty of problems at the Parc des Princes and wasted numerous opportunities to score, including hitting the woodwork three times.

Despite being the underdogs going into the game, the visitors began brightly and almost snatched a shock lead with five minutes played.

A left-wing corner from captain Matias Delgado was nodded back across goal by Iceland international Birkir Bjarnason and unmarked defender Michael Lang rattled the crossbar with a powerful header.

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The early let off should have served as a warning to the hosts but the away side had two excellent chances in quick succession six minutes later.

Winger Renato Steffen was initially denied by PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola after being played through before Seydou Doumbia seized on the rebound following hesitancy from Marquinhos only to fire over with the goal gaping.

The French champions finally had a meaningful attempt at goal with half an hour played. Brazil international Moura led a fast breakaway from the halfway line before delivering into the box for Di Maria to send an acrobatic volley marginally wide of the right-hand post.

Basel then struck the woodwork for a second time when top-scorer Doumbia, who made a handful of appearances on loan at Newcastle last season, headed against the right upright following Delgado’s inswinging cross from the left.

Adrien Rabiot stung the palms of Basel keeper Tomas Vaclik moments later as PSG counter-attacked before Emery’s side took an undeserved lead.

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Midfielder Rabiot played in Blaise Matuidi on the left and his cutback eventually fell for Di Maria to hammer a right-footed half-volley into the roof of the net.

PSG top-scorer Cavani, who had already scored 12 times this season, had a quiet first half but he almost doubled the home side’s advantage two minutes after the restart when his glancing header from Di Maria’s free-kick flicked the outside of the right post.

Uruguayan striker Cavani was at the centre of the hosts’ second-half attacking intent and he saw a penalty appeal waved away by referee Deniz Aytekin after going down under a challenge from Eder Balanta before being denied by Vaclik when through on goal.

Unlike Basel, PSG were not made to pay for their profligacy and they doubled their lead in the 62nd minute.

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Serge Aurier’s cross from the right was only partially cleared by Marek Suchy and Moura took advantage, slotting into the bottom-right corner from around 12 yards.

Czech defender Suchy almost made immediate amends for his error but his header from a Delgado set-piece came back off the left post as Urs Fischer’s team were once again denied by the frame of the goal.

Cavani finally got on the scoresheet in the third minute of time added on, smashing down the middle from the penalty spot after being brought down in the box by Lang to cap a frustrating night in the French capital for the Swiss side.

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