Paris Saint-Germain failed to capitalize on leaders Montpellier Herault’s slipup against Lorient after conceding an 87th-minute goal to draw 1-1 at Ligue 1’s bottom side AJ Auxerre on Sunday.
With Montpellier having gone down 2-1 at Lorient earlier in the day, PSG were bidding to draw level on points at the top of the table, but Anthony Le Tallec’s late equalizer left them two points behind the leaders with six games to play.
“It was a problem of determination and concentration,” said PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti, who started with record signing Javier Pastore on the bench. “We played too sloppily. If we want to win the championship, we won’t do it playing like that.”
After Jeremy Menez grazed the post following a neat back-heel from Kevin Gameiro, PSG forward Nene broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute when he steered the ball past Olivier Sorin to claim his 14th league goal of the campaign.
Auxerre midfielder Kamel Chafni hit the post after wriggling through the PSG defense in the 53rd minute, while visiting goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu had to produce a smart save to repel Dennis Oliech’s header moments later.
Substitute Sylvain Armand almost scored an own-goal with nine minutes to play, before Auxerre’s pressure finally told, with substitute Le Tallec tapping home after Sirigu had fumbled a low shot from Omar Kossoko.
Despite striking a potentially pivotal blow in the title race, Auxerre remain five points adrift of safety.
In Lorient, the hosts took the lead in the 69th minute when Montpellier leftback Henri Bedimo inadvertently headed Mathias Autret’s left-wing cross into his own goal.
On-loan Arsenal forward Joel Campbell doubled Lorient’s advantage in the 77th minute, cutting in from the right flank and shaping a fine, left-footed strike inside the left-hand post.
Olivier Giroud brought Montpellier back into the game within seconds, deftly touching home a right-wing cross from Karim Ait-Fana to take his tally for the season to 20 goals, but the equalizer would not come.
Champions LOSC Lille Metropole kept a firm grip on third place and closed to within seven points of top spot by beating AC Ajaccio 4-1.
After Yoann Poulard put through his own goal in the 16th minute to gift the hosts the lead, Lille pulled clear through further efforts from Joe Cole, with his first league goal since Dec. 21, substitute Gianni Bruno and Eden Hazard.
Frederic Sammaritano scored a stoppage-time consolation for Ajaccio.
A crisp second-half strike by Bakary Sako brought AS Saint-Etienne a 2-1 win at home to Stade Brestois 29 that lifted Les Verts to fifth and ended a run of four games without a win.
Girondins de Bordeaux remained in eighth after Benoit Tremoulinas’ last-minute penalty rescued a 2-2 draw at AS Nancy-Lorraine, while Evian Thonon Gaillard are now a point behind in ninth after they romped to a 3-0 win at Valenciennes.
Sochaux-Montbeliard gave their bid to avoid relegation a shot in the arm with a 1-0 win at home to Dijon FCO.