Ancelotti under pressure at PSG

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Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti may be battling for more than first place in Group A against FC Porto on Tuesday. Photo by: Robert Pratta

Paris – Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti may be battling for more than first place in Group A against FC Porto on Tuesday.

The Italian may be fighting for his future amid reports that the club's rich Qatari owners have lost patience following a terrible run of domestic form.

"It's a difficult time for us," Ancelotti said. "At the moment we lack consistency, intensity and the taking of responsibility ... My players don't form a team, they're still a sum of individuals."

Saturday's 2-1 loss at Nice was PSG's third in the past five league games and came only days after it was knocked out of the League Cup quarterfinals by Saint-Etienne on penalty kicks.

Ancelotti snapped after the Nice loss, which knocked PSG out of the top three places, and promised radical changes to his team and his management style, but the changes may come elsewhere.

Sports daily L'Equipe reported Monday that owners QSI have had enough. Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger are the names being put forward as a potential replacement for Ancelotti.

Ancelotti and sporting director Leonardo were seen as the perfect tandem to lead PSG to glory, but their impact has fallen way below expectations. Last season, coach Antoine Kombouare was replaced by Ancelotti before the winter break - even though PSG was three points clear of Montpellier and still involved in the French Cup under Kombouare.

"As a coach I have to take my responsibilities but the players must do likewise," Ancelotti said. "I have to find solutions with the players I have."

PSG must beat Porto at Parc des Princes to finish at the top of the group - but the Portuguese club will be feeling confident after beating PSG 1-0 earlier this season.

Porto lost for first time in an official game this season last weekend, going down 2-1 against Braga in the Portuguese Cup to lose its 18-match unbeaten record. But Porto is still unbeaten in the domestic league, where it hasn't lost since last January, and shares top place with Benfica, while PSG has slipped down to fourth in the French league.

"We will keep working and prepare the team for Tuesday, for Paris Saint-Germain," Porto coach Vitor Pereira said, adding that he felt his team was unlucky to lose against Braga after having a player sent off.

Brazilian centre back Maicon is out with a right ankle injury but otherwise Porto will be at full strength.

In Group A's other match, Dinamo Zagreb must beat Dynamo Kiev to avoid another humiliating Champions League campaign. Last season, Dinamo lost all six group games and has lost five this time - conceding 13 goals without scoring one.

Dynamo flew to Zagreb without coach Oleg Blokhin, who still cannot travel with the team for medical reasons.

On Friday, Dynamo beat Hoverla Uzhgorod 4-2 to remain in third place in the domestic league, 14 points behind leader Shakhtar Donetsk.

Meanwhile, Dinamo labored to a 1-0 home win against Lokomotiva to remain 10 points clear at the top of the Croatian league. – Sapa-AP


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