Fri, Dec 05, 2014 - Page 18 News List

PSG fails to take lead after Lille draw

OTHER RESULTS:Bordeaux dropped to fifth place and behind Rennes on goal difference after a scoreless draw against Metz, while Evian and Guingamp picked up wins

AP, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain’s Gregory Van der Wiel, right, and OSC Lille Metropole’s Divock Origi vie for the ball during their game at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Villeneuve d’Ascq, France, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Paris Saint-Germain missed the chance to leapfrog Olympique de Marseille and move into first place in the French league after drawing 1-1 at struggling OSC Lille Metropole on Wednesday.

Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani put two-time defending champions PSG ahead in the 29th minute, but a blunder from goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu gifted Lille an equalizer just before halftime.

Sirigu went to collect a corner and turned the ball into his own net. He strayed too far off his line, then let the ball slip under his body, and ended up kicking it over the line as he tried to make amends.

The draw means that PSG remain one point behind Marseille, who drew 1-1 against Lorient on Tuesday night.

Although PSG extended their unbeaten run to 22 games this season, coach Laurent Blanc acknowledged that it was yet another below-par performance, following Saturday’s drab 1-0 home win against OGC Nice.

“We have mixed feelings because we came here to get three points and take first place. We didn’t manage to do it,” Blanc said. “We’re not happy with the result, but Lille deserved to get a point. We still have a lot of room for improvement in terms of how we’re playing.”

AS Saint-Etienne moved up to third place with a 2-0 win against Montpellier Herault, thanks to goals from defenders Florentin Pogba and Paul Baysse.

Stade Rennais improved to fourth place after winning 2-1 against Nice, with goals from winger Paul-Georges Ntep and Danish midfielder Anders Konradsen.

PSG coach Laurent Blanc’s decision to rest star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of next week’s Champions League game away to Barcelona left PSG short on attacking options.

“We decided to rest him because he’s played three games in a row,” Blanc said. “I think he needed to rest before we tackle a run of five games [leading up to the winter break].”

Despite not winning any of their past 10 games and only one in the past 14, Lille started brightly and had PSG on the back foot.

Striker Divock Origi forced Sirigu into an early save and the Italian goalkeeper tipped midfielder Florent Balmont’s shot onto the crossbar shortly after.

PSG took the lead when Brazilian winger Lucas broke through several tackles and released Ezequiel Lavezzi down the right. Lavezzi saw his cross turned in by Cavani, his seventh league goal of the season.

The teams were even in the second half, although Lucas went closest when his shot was pushed onto the bar by Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

“I’m very happy with the attitude of my players. I think it was pretty even in terms of chances,” Lille coach Rene Girard said. “We tried to stand up to them with a lot of aggression and determination.”

Girondins de Bordeaux dropped to fifth place and behind Rennes on goal difference after drawing 0-0 against Metz.

Elsewhere, there were important wins for Evian Thonon Gaillard and En Avant de Guingamp.

Denmark midfielder Daniel Wass scored his seventh league goal of the season and his second in the space of four days to help Evian secure a 2-1 win against SC Bastia. Forward Clarck Nsikulu got Evian’s other goal as they moved up to 13th place.

Guingamp routed Stade Malherbe Caen 5-1 to move one place out of the relegation zone as Caen dropped down into 18th spot.

Striker Christophe Mandanne and midfielder Claudio Beauvue scored two goals each and midfielder Thibault Giresse — the son of famed France midfielder Alain Giresse — got the other.

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