PSG under pressure as it heads to Dynamo Kiev

JEROME PUGMIRE AP Sports Writer Published:

PARIS (AP) -- After two straight home losses in the French league, which coach Carlo Ancelotti described as a crisis, Paris Saint-Germain's promising season will take a turn for the worse if it fails to win at Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Despite big home wins against Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb, PSG can still go out of Europe if it loses Wednesday and at home to FC Porto, and if Dynamo then wins its remaining match against Dinamo Zagreb. Although a draw will also put PSG through to the knockout round.

That scenario seemed unthinkable when PSG routed a poor Dinamo side 4-0 two weeks ago, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic looking imperious. But confidence has been severely dented after Saturday's embarrassing 2-1 home loss to Rennes, which played most of the second half with nine men and a third-choice goalkeeper.

"We only have ourselves to blame," PSG striker Guillaume Hoarau said. "But we have to stick together despite all of this. We're counting on everyone. We're not going to start having a go at each other. That serves no purpose."

Porto hosts Dinamo in the other Group A match.

"Although we have already qualified, we have the objective of finishing in the top position," Porto midfielder Lucho Gonzalez said.

Aside from two extravagant performances against two weak teams in Europe, and a 4-0 win over struggling Bastia, PSG has failed to justify its massive outlay on new players this season, picking up one point from the past three league games.

Big names like Javier Pastore and Ezequiel Lavezzi are on the bench, while last season's top scorer Nene tries to understand why he's not getting more games.

Juggling fragile egos is proving very difficult for Ancelotti, who reportedly launched into a dressing room tirade after Saturday's loss. Ancelotti won the Champions League as a player and a coach with AC Milan, and led Chelsea to the Premier League and FA Cup double in his first season.

But he admits he is baffled at the lack of unity in the PSG team, deploring how there are too many individuals playing for themselves.

"We have the quality and the technique, but that's not enough," PSG central defender Zoumana Camara said. "Our problem is team spirit."

Thankfully for PSG, Ibrahimovic returns to the side after missing two league games through suspension, and his return could not come at a better time. He is the club's top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions.

But PSG will be without winger Jeremy Menez, who picked up a thigh injury on Saturday. Right back Christophe Jallet and striker Kevin Gameiro are also out, but central midfielder Thiago Motta returns.

Ibrahimovic is coming off a magnificent performance for Sweden against England in last week's friendly match, where he scored all four goals in a 4-2 win, including an astonishing overhead kick from 30 yards.

Dynamo lost at Metalurg Donetsk 1-0 on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Porto's 16-game unbeaten record seems highly unlikely to come to an end against Dinamo, which has lost all of its matches so far and has yet to score a goal. Last season, Dinamo lost all six group games.

Porto enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 win at Nacional in the Portuguese Cup last weekend, while Dinamo routed relegation strugglers Zadar 5-0.

"The entire team proved that they are emotionally united, that they think of what is best for the team," Porto coach Vitor Pereira said. "We gave proof of great team spirit and quality."