PSG blow chance to take top spot at Lille

Champions PSG blew their chance to take top spot in Ligue 1 on Wednesday night when they let a one-goal lead slip at Lille thanks to an own goal from their goalkeeper. Marseille remain one point clear at the summit.

PSG blow chance to take top spot at Lille
Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

An own goal by Paris Saint-Germain keeper Salvatore Sirigu held the French champions to a 1-1 draw at Lille on Wednesday in a stalemate that kept Marseille atop Ligue 1 by a single point.

Edinson Cavani put PSG, who were without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, into a 29th minute lead, after good work from Ezequiel Lavezzi down the right.

That left Laurent Blanc's unbeaten side provisionally overtaking Marseille, who were held by the same scoreline by Lorient 24 hours earlier.

But in the 42nd minute Lille were back level after Sirigu's attempt to punch away a corner did not have the desired effect as the ball hit the bar and went into his net.

The match was at Lille's Metropole stadium which staged last month's Davis Cup tennis final.

Earlier, Saint Etienne climbed into third on the back of a 2-0 win at Montpellier with the first half goals scored by defenders Florentin Pogba and Paul Baysse.

"It's a good week so far," said Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier ahead of the upcoming derby with Lyon.

"I don't know how far back we'd need to go to have 29 points after 16 games."

In Corsica, Bastia fans took direct action to show their displeasure after the club's 2-1 home loss to Evian, with a group of around 50 supporters blocking the players and officials' exit.

This eighth loss of the season left them propping up the table on goal difference with 14 points.

On Tuesday, Lorient's Ghana international Jordan Ayew scored a penalty to cancel out Dimitri Payet's opener and salvage a 1-1 draw against his former club Marseille.

Toulouse saw off hosts Nantes 2-1, while Dimitar Berbatov was on the scoresheet as Monaco shrugged off being reduced to 10 men to beat Lens 2-0.

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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.”