PARIS -Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the first player to score for six different clubs in the Champions League as big-spending Paris Saint-Germain beat a poor Dynamo Kyiv side 4-1 in their group stage opener on Tuesday.
PSG attacked with gusto from the outset, eight years after its last appearance in the competition, and the convincing win confirmed PSG’s status as Group A favorite.
“It’s always important to win your first game in the Champions League,” PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “To play the way we did tonight can only be good for our confidence.”
Ibrahimovic netted from the penalty spot in the 19th minute after Jeremy Menez had been fouled. He has scored for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and now PSG in European club football’s top competition.
He also now has six goals in six matches for PSG this season since his offseason move from Milan.
Brazil defenders Thiago Silva and Alex profited from terrible marking to put the home side 3-0 ahead after little more than 30 minutes, and a rout looked possible.
“I hope we can fix the problems we had. Despite this defeat, we’ll continue to fight,” Dynamo coach Yuri Semin said. “I believe we looked good enough in the first 20 minutes. We lost because we were really bad for the next 10. I don’t want to blame one person. We lost as a team tonight.”
But PSG dropped off in the second half and conceded a sloppy goal when Miguel Veloso’s cross from the right sneaked inside the post in the 87th.
That galvanized PSG, and midfielder Javier Pastore added the fourth in injury time.
“We had edge in teamwork, in both attack and defense. Our hard work paid off with a great win,” PSG right back Christophe Jallet said. “We managed to raise the bar to Champions League level tonight, now our trip to Porto will be another stiff test. “
Pastore and Silva both cost over 40 million each, and the club’s Qatari owners have invested around ?260 million on players since taking over in June last year.
PSG’s last appearance in the competition ended in a 3-1 home defeat to CSKA Moscow in Dec. 2004, and the new-look team looked in a hurry to make up for lost time as the match began at a frenetic pace.
Pastore ran onto Menez’s reverse pass but goalkeeper Maxym Koval rushed off his line to block his angled shot after three minutes.
Although PSG dominated the opening exchanges, it nevertheless gave the ball away too many times, with Ibrahimovic trying extravagant flicks and dummies that confused his teammates, rather than helping them.
But the early goal settled things down.
It was Menez who looked the most dangerous player with his darting runs, and when he turned inside Taras Mikhalik, the center half was caught cold and caught the France winger with his trailing leg.
Ibrahimovic blasted the spot-kick down the middle to continue his fine form since joining from AC Milan along with Silva, who made his club debut at center half.
Koval then made a smart double save to deny Ibrahimovic and Pastore in the 29th, but it was a brief reprieve as Menez’s corner from the left was poorly dealt with and Silva was left unmarked at the far post to poke the ball in from close range.
The marking did not improve, and from Clement Chantome’s corner four minute later, it was Alex’s turn to rifle the ball into the bottom left corner past. Koval did his best to keep the score down, making a good stop on the stroke of halftime to deny Ibrahimovic.
Dynamo looked good carrying the ball forward but offered little threat, and left back Taye Taiwo was jeered every time he touched the ball because he used to play for PSG’s bitter rival, Marseille.
The high tempo from the first half dropped in the second half as PSG was more content to sit back and try and hit Dynamo on the break.
With less movement, and less running off the ball, PSG’s approach became more direct.
Ibrahimovic tried his luck with a shot from 25 meters (yards), but his effort arrowed away from goal, and Menez was thwarted by a last-ditch tackle as he burst into the penalty area.
After trying an audacious lob from 30 yards, which Koval easily saved, Ibrahimovic came off to a warm ovation as Ancelotti replaced him with Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Despite trailing by three goals, Dynamo showed little urgency, and left gaps at the back. Pastore drifted into space down the right in the 76th and hit an angled shot that flew just past the post.
He had more luck in injury time, picking up a loose ball on the left and hitting a low shot under Koval’s body.