Angel Di Maria rescued Paris Saint-Germain with a superb injury-time equalizer to salvage a 2-2 home draw with Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday.

By Associated Press
October 24, 2018

PARIS (AP) – Angel Di Maria rescued Paris Saint-Germain with a superb injury-time equalizer to salvage a 2-2 home draw with Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The Argentina winger curled the ball past goalkeeper David Ospina into the top left corner to spare PSG a second loss in Group C.

Despite the 93rd-minute equalizer, PSG star Neymar seemed frustrated with the result. The Brazil forward marched straight off without shaking anybody's hands and kicked a plastic protective casing around a television camera.

Forward Lorenzo Insigne put Napoli ahead in the 29th minute with a cool finish and PSG equalized in the 61st when Napoli defender Mario Rui scored an own goal.

Belgium forward Dries Mertens poked home from close range in the 77th after a sloppy mistake from center half Marquinhos, who failed to deal with a looping ball into the penalty area.

PSG has won its first 10 league games while averaging nearly four goals per game. But it has struggled in both of its big European matches, opening with a 3-2 loss at Liverpool.

Liverpool easily beat Red Star Belgrade 4-0 in the night's other match and leads the group with six points. Napoli has five points and PSG is third with four points.

After failing to get past the round of 16 in the past two seasons, another early elimination could be looming unless PSG improves. On a night of mistakes, PSG's proved more costly and the ambitious club bank-rolled by Qatari cash still has to face Napoli away and Liverpool at home.

For Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, it was an enjoyable moment against his former club.

Napoli dominated the midfield in the first half, winning most tackles. Against such tricky, quick-footed players, it was essential for PSG to close down quickly. But for the first goal there was no player near Jose Callejon when he passed to Insigne.

Insigne ghosted in behind center half Presnel Kimpembe and astutely lofted the ball over goalkeeper Alphonse Areola as he rushed off his line. It was a deserved lead for the Italian side, which hit the crossbar through Mertens in the 24th after another incisive move opened PSG up.

Kylian Mbappe had the best first-half chance for PSG, bursting through to meet Neymar's pass but shooting at Ospina's legs. But Mbappe had one of his poorest games for PSG, constantly giving the ball away. At one point, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel threw his hands up in the air in frustration.

Ospina made a smart save from Thomas Meunier's header, but was beaten shortly after when Meunier's low cross was diverted past him by Rui.

PSG striker Edinson Cavani hardly made an impact against his former club - he is fourth on Napoli's all-time list of scorers - with PSG's midfield systematically trying to pick out Neymar and Mbappe and leaving him isolated.

Cavani missed an open goal early in the second half - right in front of Napoli's travelling fans - by shooting wide, although the flag was up for offside anyway.

PSG's last home match against Red Star was marred by rival fan clashes outside the stadium after the game.

Before this match, a group of about 200 Napoli fans was met in the street by a similar number from PSG. However, this time it was a totally different atmosphere as both groups applauded each other and sang each other's team name.

There are friendly links between groups - known as Ultras - from both sides. The PSG supporters walked with the Napoli contingent down a long street and both groups sang expletive-laced songs against Marseille, PSG's bitter rival.

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