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September 21, 2014

PARIS (AP) — Edinson Cavani continued his return to form while Zlatan Ibrahimovic's mini-slump extended to a third game without scoring as defending champion Paris Saint-Germain disappointed again, conceding a late equalizer in a 1-1 draw at home to Lyon on Sunday to slip three points off the lead.

Cavani put PSG ahead with a header in the 20th minute only for center half Samuel Umtiti to equalize with a deflected effort in the 84th as PSG drew for the fourth time in six league games. Once again, PSG was left clinging on at the end — just like when Laurent Blanc's team opened its Champions League campaign with a stuttering 1-1 draw away to Ajax.

Like Ajax on Wednesday night, Lyon could have won it in the closing stages but midfielder Corentin Tolisso scooped the ball over from close range. Ibrahimovic hardly made an impact and spent large parts of the game arguing with the referee.

Earlier, midfielder Fabien Lemoine scored a late winner as Saint-Etienne won 1-0 at Lens to move level on points with Bordeaux and overall leader Marseille. The top three have 13 points, while Lille, which drew 0-0 at home to Montpellier, is one point behind them.

Blanc made several changes from the Ajax game. Serge Aurier and Lucas Digne came in at fullback and Ezequiel Lavezzi was restored to the left wing, with the ineffective Brazil winger Lucas dropping to the bench.

Yohan Cabaye, replacing Thiago Motta in midfield, missed an early chance before Cavani rose to powerfully head in Digne's cross for his second goal in as many games after putting PSG ahead against Ajax.

Lyon almost equalized 10 minutes later when midfielder Arnold Mvuemba struck the bar with a fine free-kick.

Lavezzi looked sharp and caused Lyon's defense problems with his speed and direct runs, but PSG looked vulnerable to a Lyon counter-attack and Blanc brought on Motta with 25 minutes remaining to strengthen his midfield.

Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes saved late efforts from Motta and Ibrahimovic as PSG pushed for a second goal.

PSG goalie Salvatore Sirigu denied Clinton Njie with a fine save. Moments later Lyon won a corner, Njie teed up Umtiti and his shot hit Aurier before wrong-footing Sirigu.

Earlier, Lemoine started and finished a fine team move in the 82nd minute, slotting past goalkeeper Rudy Riou after running onto Ricky Van Wolfswinkel's pass.

Ivory Coast winger Max-Alain Gradel missed a good chance to make it 2-0 shortly after.

Lille missed the chance to go top after failing to break Montpellier's defense in a goalless draw.

Marcos Lopes, Michael Frey and Jonathan Delaplace combined well in the 24th minute for Lille, only for the latter to miss his strike. Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren was forced into a good save soon after to deny Ryan Mendes' effort and Lopes failed to score from the rebound.

Elsewhere, Monaco followed up its 1-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League midweek with a 1-0 win against Guingamp to climb out of the relegation zone.

After goalkeeper Jonas Lossl had saved Joao Moutinho's free kick, winger Nabil Dirar pounced to fire home in the 38th.

Midfielders Bernardo Silva and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco missed other chances for Monaco, which moved up to 15th spot, while Guingamp dropped down to 19th.

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