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Paris Saint Germain's tenacity paid off as the defending champions earned a deserved 1-1 draw at French league leader Lyon on Sunday.

February 08, 2015

PARIS (AP) -- Paris Saint Germain's tenacity paid off as the defending champions earned a deserved 1-1 draw at French league leader Lyon on Sunday.

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored PSG's equalizer in the 69th minute from the penalty spot after his side created the best chances but struggled with efficiency in front of goal and Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes made several outstanding saves.

The result left Lyon two points above Marseille and PSG.

Knowing that a victory would lift them to the top of standings, PSG started at a quick pace although the hosts created the first big chance in the 11th minute when Corentin Tolisso fired from 25 meters but saw his drive rattle PSG keeper Salvatore Sirigu's right post.

PSG responded immediately after Maxime Gonalons gave the ball away to Ibrahimovic in his own half. With no space in front of him, the Sweden striker passed the ball to Edinson Cavani who lost his duel with Lopes.

PSG' best chance of the first half came 10 minutes later from a corner that defender David Luiz headed wide from close range after Cavani flicked it on at the near post.

While the visitors lacked a cutting edge, Cameroon striker Clinton N'Jie put Lyon ahead with a clinical finish from six yards from Nabil Fekir's pass in the 31st minute.

PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi wasted another chance before the interval, sending his shot over the bar after being set up by Marquinhos.

"I explained certain things at halftime, this is my role," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said following reports that he could be overheard shouting at his players in the dressing room. "We could not be satisfied to be trailing although we conceded just one chance. We could have won this game but we again missed the chance to be leaders, it means that we are still lacking something."

PSG pressed relentless in the second half and Ibrahimovic came close twice with headers that forced Lopes to excellent saves. PSG's efforts were finally rewarded in the 66th minute when Marco Verratti earned a penalty after a contact in the box with defender Lindsay Rose. Lopes made another outstanding save to deny Ibrahimovic's kick, but referee Clement Turpin ordered it to be retaken after players encroached on the area, with Ibrahimovic finding the top left corner to put the teams level.

"We are still waiting for the referee's explanations," said Lopes. "When you give players like Zlatan a second chance, you can't get away with it."

Earlier, 10-man Guingamp ended Monaco's eight-match unbeaten run in the French league with Dorian Leveque scoring in a 1-0 victory.

Guingamp was reduced to 10 men after 22 minutes when referee Ruddy Buquet harshly showed Moustapha Diallo a red card for a gritty tackle on Jeremy Toulalan.

Monaco did not take advantage of the situation with another poor attacking display that has been the team's signature since the departures of strikers Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez last summer.

Guingamp broke Monaco's iron-clad defense on the break in the 52nd, with Leveque firing home from Claudio Beauvue's cross.

Fifth-place Monaco, which had kept eight consecutive clean sheets, is now trailing Lyon by 10 points.

Also, Nice was held to a goalless draw by Nantes after the hosts had a first-half goal from Carlos Eduardo disallowed for offside. Nice kept its eighth place in the standings, separated on goal difference from Nantes in ninth.

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