St Etienne heartbreak after own goal spares PSG blushes


A stoppage-time Mathieu Debuchy own goal spared 10-man Paris Saint-Germain's blushes, as they rescued an unlikely 1-1 draw from the jaws of defeat at Saint-Etienne on Friday.

PSG appeared to be heading towards a deserved defeat after Unai Emery's decision to make seven changes from the side that beat Monaco in the Coupe de la Ligue final looked set to backfire, but their late onslaught ultimately paid dividends in the form of a last-gasp own goal, despite having Presnel Kimpembe sent off in the first half.

Emery's men were particularly hapless during the opening 45 minutes, falling behind to in-form Remy Cabella with 17 minutes played, as the home side played some enthralling football.

The former Newcastle United man failed to convert a penalty soon after, but PSG were unable to build on that let-off and things got worse late in the half, with Kimpembe - who conceded the spot-kick - getting his marching orders for a second bookable offence.

PSG improved after the break in spite of their numerical disadvantage, though chances did not start to fall until late on.

Edinson Cavani, a second-half substitute, wasted an opportunity 15 minutes from time when he missed an open goal, but luckily for him and PSG, their persistence was rewarded, as Debuchy put into his own goal with almost the last kick of the game.

Saint-Etienne took control early on and found themselves in front before long.

Debuchy's right-wing cross caused havoc and the ball broke kindly for Cabella, who tapped home from close range.

Saint-Etienne were then gifted the perfect opportunity to double their lead in the 29th minute when Kimpembe tripped Romain Hamouma in the area, only for Alphonse Areola to save Cabella's poor spot-kick.

But any encouragement garnered from that penalty save evaporated just before the break, as Kimpembe earned a second yellow card for catching Hamouma late.

Emery responded at the break by withdrawing the ineffective Lassana Diarra for Thiago Silva to restore his four-man defence, and they looked far more purposeful at the start of the second half.

But the home side let their visitors off the hook again 16 minutes from time - Oussama Tannane blasting a 16-yard drive against the crossbar.

PSG looked destined to drop points when Cavani - a 68th-minute introduction - inexplicably missed an open goal from 12 yards, before then seeing Stephane Ruffier pull off a marvellous save to deny him late on.

But there proved to be one final twist, as Thomas Meunier's right-wing cross was flicked on by Tannane and Debuchy could only watch as the ball struck him and beat the helpless Ruffier, earning PSG a share of the spoils.

The result means PSG can wrap up the Ligue 1 title against Monaco next weekend.

Source Omnisport