Ligue 1: Lucas and Kurzawa score as PSG beats promoted Metz

Sunday August 21st, 2016

PARIS (AP) — Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain overcame a frustrating first half to beat promoted Metz 3-0 on Sunday and move level on points with Lyon and Nice at the top of the French league.

Striker Edinson Cavani, winger Angel Di Maria and left back Layvin Kurzawa all missed good chances in the first half. PSG opened the scoring in the 52nd minute through Brazilian winger Lucas, who hit a powerful shot from just inside the penalty area after meeting a cross from right back Serge Aurier.

Kurzawa, who scored several goals in pre-season friendly matches, made it 2-0 midway through the second half when he headed powerfully home from Di Maria's corner.

The third goal came from Marco Verratti deep into injury time, with a powerful shot on target from the Italy midfielder flashing past the goalkeeper after Metz defender Jonathan Rivierez tried to head the ball clear.

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Cavani is now playing in his favored center forward role because star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has joined Manchester United. But Cavani's frustrating night continued when he shot wide of an open goal in the 77th after Di Maria's strike hit the crossbar and the ball fell invitingly to him.

All three sides on six points have yet to concede a goal.

Meanwhile, Marseille failed to recover from conceding an early goal as it lost 2-1 away to Guingamp.

With less than one minute played, forward Yannis Salibur steered Marcus Coco's cross through the legs of goalkeeper Yohann Pele. Guingamp almost scored again when forward Jimmy Briand forced a fine save from Pele.

Marseille striker Bafetimbi Gomis went close in the 30th but his shot rolled just wide of the post.

Guingamp made it 2-0 in the 59th when defender Jeremy Sorbon turned in midfielder Lucas Deaux's cross from the right, with Salibur involved in the move.

Winger Florian Thauvin pulled a goal back for Marseille, which finished a miserable 13th last season and has one point from two matches.

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"When you are the Marseille coach, you are under pressure," said Marseille coach Franck Passi, who played for the club as a midfielder in the late 1980s and took charge late last season after Spanish coach Michel was fired. "I accepted the job and I accept the pressure as well."

Passi backed his team to quickly turn things around.

"We're not going to panic; we'll be as patient as it takes to build a team that plays well. There's a real potential in the team," Passi said. "The positive things I will take (from the game) are the team spirit and the character shown by my players. Sometimes they made the wrong decisions but they fought hard."

Also, Saint-Etienne came from behind to beat Montpellier 3-1 thanks to second-half goals from forwards Kevin Monnet-Paquet, Dylan Saint-Louis and Robert Beric. Striker Steve Mounie put Montpellier ahead midway through the first half with his first goal for the club.

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