PSG salvage late draw to stay top of Ligue 1

PSG had to rely on a last-minute equaliser against Saint-Etienne on Sunday to safeguard their unbeaten record in Ligue 1 and keep them top of the table alongside Monaco, who overcame Lyon 2-1 earlier in the day. Click here for a round-up of all the action.

PSG salvage late draw to stay top of Ligue 1
PSG celebrate scoring a last minute equaliser against St Etienne to safeguard their unbeaten record in Ligue 1. Photo: Philippe Serle/AFP

Paris Saint-Germain were 60 seconds from their first defeat of the season on Sunday before a desperate equaliser from Blaise Matuidi salvaged a 2-2 draw at Saint-Etienne and kept them top of Ligue 1.

In a match full of drama and controversy, Saint-Etienne threw away a 2-0 second half lead albeit hindered by a red card which allowed Laurent Blanc's men back in the match.

The point allowed PSG to cling to top spot as they lead Monaco on goal difference after Claudio Ranieri's side defeated Lyon 2-1 earlier in the day.

"It was a difficult evening for Paris and an intense match but I enjoyed myself regardless," said Blanc.

"PSG have to understand that we are going to come up against very good, organised teams and we were in a great stadium tonight.

"We gave them two goals which were terrible defensive mistakes and we were punished.

"I thought we were average and Saint-Etienne fully deserved at least a point." added the former France and Bordeaux handler.

Midfielder Benjamin Corgnet opened the scoring after just 18 minutes when he took advantage of a missed clearance from Brazilian centre-back Marquinhos to crash the ball past a static Salvatore Sirigu in the PSG goal.

The visitors failed to convert their possession dominance as they chased an equaliser and fell further behind in comical circumstances six minutes after the break.

Sirigu came out of his goal to collect a cross but tangled with his own defender Alex which allowed Romain Hamouma to clip the ball into an empty goal.

It was the first time since last March that PSG had conceded two goals in a league match – ironically against the same opposition.

But the turning point occurred on 59 minutes when Fabien Lemoine tangled with Ezequiel Lavezzi who elbowed him in the face leaving him covered in blood.

Referee Ruddy Buquet saw the incident differently and sent off the furious Frenchman who may have been dismissed for dissent in the heat of the moment.

The red card swung the momentum in favour of Blanc's men and when Edinson Cavani stabbed the ball home from close range after a good pass from Brazilian defender Maxwell, the comeback was half completed.

However stubborn defending from Saint-Etienne and some rousing support almost inspired Christophe Galtier's League Cup holders to victory.

But with seconds remaining a looping ball into the penalty area from Matuidi eluded Saint-Etienne 'keeper Stephane Ruffier and bounced into the net.

Earlier at the Louis II stadium, Ligue 1's top scorer Radamel Falcao found the target for the first time in four matches as he helped Monaco defeat Lyon 2-1.

The former Atletico Madrid striker chipped Lyon 'keeper Anthony Lopes in the 36th minute following Mounir Obbadi's 28th minute opener as Claudio Ranieri's men extended their unbeaten run to seven wins and four draws in 11 outings.

French striker Bafetimbi Gomis gave the visitors hope with 28 minutes left when he powered home a close-range header but it wasn't enough as Lyon suffered their fifth defeat.

"It was important for Falcao to score and when he scores Monaco usually win and we have to win all our matches if we want to stay at the top," explained Monaco's Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho.

Lille slip to third, two points back behind PSG and Monaco following their disciplined 1-0 win at Nantes on Friday.

Earlier on Sunday, Bordeaux rode two late goals from Mali international Cheikh Diabate and Polish winger Ludovic Obraniak to defeat Montpellier 2-0 in a battle of former champions at the Chaban Delmas stadium.

Ligue 1 results: 


Bordeaux 2 (Diabaté 75, Obraniak 90+1) Montpellier 0
Monaco 2 (Obbadi 28, Falcao 36) Lyon 1 (B. Gomis 62)
Saint-Etienne 2 (Corgnet 18, Hamouna 51) Paris SG 2 (Cavani 68, 90+3)


Marseille 2 (Thauvin 56, Gignac 86) Reims 3 (Ayité 34, Albćk 37, Oniangue
Bastia 1 (Squillaci 36) Nice 0
Guingamp 2 (Beauvue 86, Mu. Diallo 90+1) Ajaccio 1 (Andre 41)
Lorient 2 (Aboubakar 17, Jouffre 55) Sochaux 1 (Bakambu 90+2)
Toulouse 0 Rennes 5 (Alessandrini 25, Bakayoko 34, Kadir 45, Nelson
Oliveira 63, 83)
Valenciennes 0 Evian/Thonon 1 (Sougou 82)


Nantes 0 Lille 1 (Roux 41)

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‘Not football’s job’ to combat homophobia: French football chief

The head of French football has pulled away from a hardline stance against homophobic chanting and banners in stadiums on Friday, saying that "too many matches" have been stopped due to anti-gay abuse.

'Not football's job' to combat homophobia: French football chief

Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), said that the FFF would not instruct referees to stop matches except in cases when a “whole stadium” was guilty of homophobic chanting.

“I think we're stopping too many matches! That makes certain government ministers happy, but it bothers me. Football can't be taken hostage by vulgarity,” said Le Graet in an interview with newspaper Ouest-France.

Several matches have been temporarily halted in France this season after the French football League (LFP) introduced over the summer plans to tackle fan homophobia during matches, including allowing referees to stop games.

“Matches have been stopped when they shouldn't have been,” Le Graet continued.

“We will stop them if there is consistent homophobic abuse from the whole ground, but if among 30,000 people there are 2,000 imbeciles I don't see why the other 28,000 should be punished.”

Le Graet referred to France's sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who in April launched the appeal for matches to be stopped in the event of homophobic abuse, and equalities minister Marlene Schiappa.

Schiappa publicly praised referee Clement Turpin after he stopped Marseille's 2-1 win at Nice for over 10 minutes last month following sustained abusive chanting and banners from home fans, but Le Graet insisted that it wasn't football's job to combat homophobia.

Paris Saint-Germain's match at Metz two days later was also briefly halted for a banner unfurled by the hosts' supporters asking the French league (LFP) to allow them to aim homophobic chants at PSG.

“Did football invent homophobia? You can be a know-it-all when you have got much to say. But there are more important political issues,” he said.

“This crisis will resolve itself. We will work with club presidents, people who don't stick their oar in every morning, who don't want to just look good in front of the television cameras.”