Paris: Cristiano Ronaldo could not find the target for Real Madrid and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an even less impressive performance for Paris Saint-Germain as the Group A leaders drew 0-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Perfect in their two previous group games, PSG and Real produced a largely sterile match at the Parc des Princes.
The three-time defending French champions lacked imagination and pace to break through the 10-time European champions’ defense, with Madrid happy to sit back and play on the counterattack.
In the absence of the injured Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez, Madrid coach Rafael Benitez had to field a largely reshuffled team that still created the best chances.
Both PSG and Real have seven points halfway through the group stage. while the game failed to live up to expectations as a spectacle, the result is not a bad one for either team, particularly the visitors.
Malmo won 1-0 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the night’s other game but Paris and Madrid are each four points clear of the Swedes and will have an opportunity to clinch qualification for the last 16 when they meet again in Spain in a fortnight.
Perhaps that will be a more open contest, but under the Parisian drizzle it was Rafael Benitez’s tactical nous that frustrated the hosts and enabled Real to secure a result that is not to be sniffed at given their current injury problems.
In Manchester United’s group, Wolfsburg defeated PSV Eindhoven 2-0 for its second victory in Group B of the Champions League.
Bas Dost scored in the first minute of the second half and Max Kruse sealed the victory in the 57th to give Wolfsburg six points in the group.
Wolfsburg dominated the match but failed to translate its control into more goals.
Wolfsburg’s goalkeeper Diego Benaglio gave away a penalty in the final minute of regulation time, but then dived to his right to turn away Juergen Locadia’s shot from the spot.
PSV has three points from three matches.
In Group C, Saul Niguez, Jackson Martinez and substitute Oliver Torres scored a goal each as Atletico Madrid easily defeated Astana 4-0 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Niguez opened the scoring with a back-heel finish after a run by Yannick Carrasco following a corner in the 23rd minute. Martinez then fired home in the 29th and Torres lobbed the goalkeeper in the 63rd.
The fourth goal came when Astana defender Denys Dedechko turned the ball into his own net while trying to clear a cross in the 89th.
The victory at the Calderon Stadium in Madrid leaves Atletico with six points from three matches in Group C, level with Benfica, which lost 2-1 at Galatasaray.
Lukas Podolski scored a first-half winner as Galatasaray secured its first victory in Group C of the Champions League on Wednesday by beating Benfica 2-1 at the Ali Sami Yen stadium.
Benfica, which came into the match as clear group leaders, made a dream start when midfielder Nicolas Gaitan put the Portuguese side ahead in the second minute.
Galatasaray soon recovered and Selcuk Inan leveled from the penalty spot in the 19th minute after a handball in the area by Andre Almeida.
Podolski scored what proved to be the match winner in the 33rd after the Germany forward latched on to a long ball forward from Aurelien Chedjou.
Manchester City’s group rivals Juventus and Monchengladbach drew 0-0.
Juventus remained on track to qualify for the Champions League last 16 despite being held to a scoreless draw by Borussia Monchengladbach in a one-sided Group D clash in Turin.
Last season’s beaten finalists have defied their poor Serie A form with a sterling start to the group stages this season.
But after beating Manchester City away and dominating Sevilla in a 2-0 win last time out, Massimiliano Allegri’s Italian champions just could not find a way past Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer to clinch the win that would have given them an element of comfort ahead of their remaining three group games -- two of which are away from home.
The result leaves Juventus top of the group on seven points, but just one ahead of City after the English side’s last-gasp 2-1 win over Sevilla.
Sevilla drop to third, two points ahead of Gladbach after the Germans claimed their first point of the competition.