Paris Saint-Germain edges Metz 3-2 to take French league lead

Publish date:

METZ, France (AP) -- Ezequiel Lavezzi fired Paris Saint-Germain to the top of the French league on Friday by scoring the winner in the 3-2 victory over promoted Metz.

The Argentina forward slid home a rebound in the 83rd minute after Metz goalkeeper Johann Carrasso had denied Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

PSG playmaker Javier Pastore opened the scoring by finishing off a counterattack with a chip in the ninth minute.

The defending champion doubled its lead with an own goal from Metz defender Gaetan Bussmann, who turned a free kick from Lavezzi into his own net in the 16th.

However, PSG blew that lead when Metz striker Modibo Maiga converted two penalties in the second half after Adrien Rabiot fouled substitute Sergei Krivets in the 49th and Gregory Van der Wiel handled the ball in the 53rd.

PSG has a provisional two-point lead over Marseille, which hosts Bordeaux on Sunday.

"We played well in the first half and followed the coach's instructions," PSG midfielder Rabiot told BeIn Sports television. "It was more complicated in the second half because of the substitutions."

PSG midfielder Yohan Cabaye picked up a calf injury in the 20th and was replaced by Blaise Matuidi. At halftime, Italy international Thiago Motta was also substituted.

The Parisian club played without Brazil defender David Luiz, who is ill, and midfielders Lucas Moura and Marco Verratti, who are injured.

On Saturday, it's: Bastia vs. Lyon; Guingamp vs. Rennes; Lorient vs. Lens; Monaco vs. Caen; and Nice vs. Reims.

On Sunday, Saint-Etienne visits Nantes while Montpellier hosts Toulouse.

The match between Lille and Evian has been postponed to Jan. 7 because Stade Pierre Mauroy hosts the Davis Cup final this weekend.