10-man PSG salvages 1-1 draw at Saint-Etienne
PARIS (AP) Ten-man Paris Saint-Germain played poorly and needed an own-goal in stoppage time from Saint-Etienne defender Mathieu Debuchy to salvage a point from its trip to France’s most decorated club on Friday in the French league.
Debuchy’s unfortunate goal canceled out Remy Cabella’s opener and secured a 1-1 draw for PSG, which moved closer to its fifth league title in six years.
PSG has a 17-point lead over defending champion Monaco, which hosts Nantes on Saturday.
Saint-Etienne was the better team throughout but wasted too many chances and came short in its bid to secure a first home win against PSG in 10 years.
Facing a determined home side with a solid defensive block, PSG struggled to keep the ball and was lucky to return to the dressing room at halftime only trailing to Cabella’s 17th minute strike.
Cabella, on loan from Marseille, made the most of PSG’s poor defending after a cross from Debuchy was left unchallenged in the visitors’ box, breaking the deadlock from close range.
PSG players looked apathetic and disorganized afterward, failing to mount any decent attacking move.
The hosts were quick on the counterattack but wasted their best occasion to double their lead after Presnel Kimpembe fouled Romain Hamouma in the area at the half-hour mark. Cabella took the penalty but saw his poor effort saved by PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
The match took a turn for the worse for PSG a few minutes later as Kimpembe was sent off for another clumsy foul on Hamouma.
PSG had only one shot during the first half, with Giovani Lo Celso missing the target from the edge of the area in the 39th.
PSG played better after the break but created only half chances while Saint-Etienne, which has 10 league titles, lacked a cutting edge.
Saint-Etienne substitute Oussama Tannane came close but his fine strike at the end of a counterattack hit the crossbar. The hosts were almost made to pay for their profligacy two minutes later, but Edinson Cavani’s clumsy finish kept them in the lead. Ideally set up by Angel Di Maria and alone in front of the goal, the league’s top striker completely fluffed his shot and missed the target.
PSG pushed hard in the closing stages and was rewarded for its last-gasp efforts when a cross flicked on by Kylian Mbappe ricocheted off Debuchy’s knee and into the net.