PSG’s defense falls apart again in 3-2 defeat at Montpellier
PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain’s defense fell apart again, conceding a sloppy late goal in a 3-2 defeat away to Montpellier on Tuesday.
Although PSG has already clinched the French title, the performances are getting worse and the end of season is proving painful for the club’s fans.
This was PSG’s fourth defeat in five games, during which it has lost three straight away games, conceded 14 goals and lost the French Cup final last Saturday.
Neymar looked shocked at the end of the game, walking around with a look of stunned disbelief on his face. The next four league games could go a long way to deciding whether he stays at the club, amid persistent speculation he is an intended target for Real Madrid as it rebuilds under newly-hired coach Zinedine Zidane.
PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe scored an own goal for the second straight game as PSG twice took the lead before capitulating.
Montpellier striker Andy Delort made it 2-2 after 80 minutes after PSG’s defense was quickly sliced open. Montpellier’s goalkeeper threw the ball out to the halfway line, where midfielder Florent Mollet volleyed it into the path of Delort, who ran through and drilled a low shot past goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
Montpellier’s 86th-minute winner was even more of a gift.
Buffon rolled the ball to Leandro Paredes inside the penalty area, but the midfielder was dispossessed as he tried to control it. Substitute Souleymane Camara lashed the loose ball past Buffon to push Montpellier over Marseille and into fifth place on goal difference.
Another defender’s own goal, this time from Montpellier defender Ambroise Oyongo, had given PSG the lead when he turned in a cross from left back Juan Bernat after 13 minutes.
Montpellier leveled midway through the first half when Kimpembe, who had deflected a cross past his own goalkeeper during PSG’s French Cup final defeat against Rennes on Saturday, this time headed a free kick past Buffon instead of clearing it.
Winger Angel Di Maria’s well-taken effort put PSG back ahead in the 63rd, but the lack of composure resurfaced once again.
PSG lost the French Cup final to Rennes in a penalty shootout, despite being 2-0 up after 22 minutes. PSG also failed to retain the League Cup this season, going out in the quarterfinals after leading in that game. In the Champions League round-of-16, PSG won 2-0 away to Manchester United but lost the return leg 3-1 and went out.