Late Zlatan Ibrahimovic red card confounds PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti
Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti said he was surprised at the decision to send off Zlatan Ibrahimovic late in their 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 said. "He was out on the wing, he made a tackle and he did not deserve to be sent off. 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, 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."
PSG defender Mamadou Sakho said the Ligue 1 leaders were upset at conceding late on after establishing a 2-0, half-time 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. "But overall, it's a good result. To come here and win is very good."
Ancelotti's Valencia counterpart, Ernesto Valverde, said his side had not been cautious enough and discounted the importance of the absence of Ibrahimovic in the second leg.
"They were very strong. Every counter-attack they had was very dangerous," he admitted. "We managed to get a late goal, which means we still have a chance, but … they have some extraordinary players."