PSG looking to stamp authority with win at Porto

Associated Press Modified: October 2, 2012 at 6:47 am •  Published: October 2, 2012
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PARIS (AP) — With Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring freely, and a defense that is increasingly hard to breach, Paris Saint-Germain's confidence is high ahead of Wednesday's tough trip to Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday.

PSG has won its past five games to move up to second place in the French league, with Ibrahimovic scoring six goals during that spell, and the defense conceding just two.

Carlo Ancelotti's PSG has not played a team of Porto's caliber this season and faces its first big test against the Portuguese champion, although its defenders will no doubt be relieved that striker Hulk no longer plays for the club.

Dynamo Kiev, which has recruited Oleg Blokhin from the Ukraine national team as its new coach, hosts Dinamo Zagreb in Group A's other match, with both teams getting back to winning ways at the weekend after losing their previous two games.

Victory against Porto would put PSG well on the way to the knockout stages and raise expectations even higher after an outlay of over €150 million on new players the offseason.

"They're expecting a lot this season, which is normal given all the money invested by the club. We're working hard every day to do great things and I hope we can continue to deliver," Ibrahimovic said. "The team has a lot of pressure to play good and win all the games that are coming. Everyone is talking about us, talking about Paris Saint-Germain, and they want to beat us."

The bad news for Porto is that Ibrahimovic thinks he can still improve, even though he has already impressed enough with eight goals in six games since joining from AC Milan, along with Brazil center back Thiago Silva.

"I had a little injury in the beginning, now I'm feeling better and better," said Ibrahimovic, who scored in a 4-1 thrashing of Dynamo two weeks ago. "I'm starting to find my rhythm. I'm not at 100 percent yet, but that will come. I scored (a lot) because my team is doing good — without my teammates I don't score."