Cavani inspires comeback win for Paris Saint-Germain at Lorient
PARIS — Edinson Cavani and Jean-Christophe Bahebeck helped defending champion Paris Saint-Germain rally past Lorient 2-1 on Saturday and pull within a point of leader Marseille in the French league.
Bahebeck came on as a substitute to net the winner when he beat Lorient goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte to a long ball to score into an empty net in the 68th minute.
Lorient midfielder Raphael Guerreiro had opened the scoring by firing home a low strike in the 42nd, but Cavani converted a rebound to level in the 61st.
”PSG players must realize that walking onto the field is not enough to win a match,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. ”The way we played in the first half today is not worthy of a club like PSG.”
In the race for a Champions League spot, Lyon stayed one point behind PSG by defeating Nice 3-1. Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette scored with a solo run in the 80th and a long-range strike in stoppage time to raise his league tally to 10 goals this season, tying Marseille forward Andre-Pierre Gignac as the top scorer.
Saint-Etienne forward Max-Alain Gradel netted a header in the 60th to salvage a 1-1 draw with mid-table Lille.
Former France international Florent Malouda led promoted Metz to a 3-2 win over Caen by converting a penalty in the 90th.
Montpellier snapped a three-game losing streak in all competitions by sinking Evian 2-0 with goals from wingers Kevin Berigaud and Anthony Mounier.
Guingamp moved out of the relegation zone by edging Bastia 1-0 with a goal from Sambou Yatabare in the 32nd.
On Sunday, Marseille hosts Lens, Rennes visits Nantes and Bordeaux plays Toulouse.
Monaco drew 1-1 with Reims on Friday.
Lorient was the better team in the first half and could have scored more goals with better finishing.
PSG midfielder Yohan Cabaye attempted a dribbling move on the edge of his box in the opening minute and lost the ball to Jordan Ayew, who failed to beat goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
Ayew also missed the target with a close-range effort in the 40th. But the Ghana forward made amends two minutes later by feeding Guerreiro, who put the hosts ahead from a tight angle.
Lorient limited the visitors to long-range attempts by Lucas Moura in the eighth and Ezequiel Lavezzi in the ninth, both saved by Lecomte.
PSG showed more desire after the break, forcing Lecomte to parry a drive from Javier Pastore in the 48th and a header from Serge Aurier in the 50th.
Thiago Motta then found space in the Lorient defense to play Cavani clean through on goal. Cavani was denied by Lecomte but the rebound fell to the Uruguay striker, who flicked home the equalizer for his fifth league goal this season.
Blanc replaced Cabaye and Lavezzi with Marco Verratti and Bahebeck in the 62nd and the move quickly paid off as Bahebeck chased a long ball from Verratti to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
PSG played without an injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a suspended Gregory Van der Wiel, while David Luiz was rested.