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Page last updated at 21:34 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Man City 0-0 PSG

By Chris Bevan

Jo battles for the ball with PSG defender Gregory Bourillon
Jo (left) battles for the ball with PSG defender Gregory Bourillon

Manchester City's fringe stars failed to impress against Paris St Germain but held on for a draw in Uefa Cup Group A.

City, already through to the last 32, recalled Jo and Elano but both looked short of form and confidence.

Daniel Sturridge was denied by Mickael Landreau early on after Elano slid him clear but City created little else.

PSG grew in belief as the game went on and Joe Hart blocked Peggy Luyindula's shot before Guillaume Hoarau and Zoumana Camara missed good chances.

It was a poor display by City that, with the January transfer window looming and a host of players already being linked with big-money moves to Eastlands, will have done little to persuade manager Mark Hughes that he does not need to overhaul his under-achieving squad.

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In the absence of the injured Robinho and Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jo, who has not scored since the end of September, and Elano - who recently vented his frustration over his lack of recent first-team opportunities - probably had the most to prove.

Elano began brightly and City should have taken the lead when he slid Sturridge clear inside the first five minutes.

But the teenage striker's first touch was far too heavy and Landreau came out to block before saving Elano's follow-up.

Jo, who was also seeing plenty of the ball in the early stages, slipped Darius Vassell free soon after but the former England striker saw his shot roll the wrong side of the post, and a late flag would have ruled it out in any case.

At that stage it was an open game but PSG, with former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele patrolling in front of their defence, soon tightened up at the back and the rest of the first half saw precious few chances.

The tempo of the game dropped off completely, save for some wild challenges from another ex-Chelsea player, Mateja Kezman, that earned him a booking from referee Bruno Miguel.

By now, Elano's passes were only finding the opposition and Jo had become an ineffective presence up front.

Sensing City's lethargy, PSG began to grow in confidence and it took a timely tackle from Tal Ben-Haim to deny Kezman after Luyindula broke free down the right.

Things did not improve for the home side at the start of the second half and, after Elano had limped off with a groin injury that will keep him out for the next two weeks, the closest City came to a goal was when Vassell shot wastefully over from the edge of the box.

And what had become another miserable night for Jo ended after 65 minutes when he was replaced by Ched Evans.

PSG came to Manchester bottom of the group and badly in need of a win but they remained more cautious than cavalier until the last 20 minutes when first-choice strikers Hoarau and Ludovic Giuly both came off the bench.

That was the cue for the visitors' best spell of the match and they could easily have snatched a late winner.

The impressive Luyindula was denied by Hart's legs after running clear and Hoarau flicked wide before Camara somehow missed a close-range header.

City were clinging on at the end but they held out for a draw that means they stay top of Group A with just a trip to play Racing Santander on 18 December to go.


Manchester City manager Mark Hughes:
"Jo is a young player - the only way he'll improve and make an impact is by getting games and getting confidence in his play.

"It's been tough for him in recent weeks but it was difficult for a lot of our players against PSG, not just him.

"We didn't create a great deal. PSG made it difficult and got a lot of men behind the ball. We weren't able to create anything to unlock the door.

"But we kept going; you have to make sure you don't over commit, and we got stretched a couple of times towards the end."


Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Dunne, Ben-Haim, Garrido, Sturridge, Ireland, Kompany, Vassell (Hamann 76), Elano (Mwaruwari 49), Jo (Evans 65).
Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Logan, Berti, Caicedo.

PSG: Landreau, Traore, Camara, Bourillon, Sakho, Pancrate (Giuly 69), Makelele (Armand 59), Clement, Rothen, Luyindula, Kezman (Hoarau 69).
Subs Not Used: Bete, Ceara, Mabiala, Ngoyi.

Booked: Kezman.

Att: 25,626

Ref: Bruno Miguel Duarte Paixao (Portugal).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Manchester City's Richard Dunne 7.43 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.



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see also
Wednesday's football photos
03 Dec 08 |  Football
Player Rater
23 Sep 08 |  League Cup


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