Thibault Camus/AP

PSG remains off the Ligue 1 pace set by Nice and Monaco after drawing the league leader.

By Ben Lyttleton
December 12, 2016

Even Nice coach Lucien Favre looked surprised. It was one minute before halftime at Parc des Princes when Dalbert swung a hopeful cross into the center, where PSG’s Brazilian duo Thiago Silva and Marquinhos somehow both failed to deal with it; the ball spun to Alassane Plea, who tucked it into the far corner to put the visitor, which was without the injured Mario Balotelli, 2-0 up over the reigning French champion.

Minutes earlier, Edinson Cavani had a similar chance, from slightly closer range, but had somehow scuffed his shot. PSG was already chasing the game after Wylan Cyprien’s superb free kick had broken the deadlock. PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola went into the game under pressure after being preferred to Kevin Trapp by coach Unai Emery–after a spell of conceding five goals in a run of five shots he faced–but he could do nothing to stop Cyprien’s masterpiece.

PSG recovered from the 2-0 halftime deficit, and two close-range goals for Cavani made it 2-2. The Uruguayan continues to be a divisive figure even though his goals tally, 21 in as many games, is unarguable. If PSG does recruit in January, it’s likely to be a center forward rather than defensive cover.

This result leaves PSG four points off Nice, and still three behind free-scoring Monaco, who smashed Bordeaux 4-0 away from home. It’s now three games without a win for the second time this season to make it an uncomfortable period for Emery, whose side lost its top place in Champions League Group A after failing to beat Ludogorets at home in midweek and was punished by drawing Barcelona in the round of 16. 

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