Neymar saves PSG's blushes in stalemate with Monaco

·2-min read
AP - Aurelien Morissard

Paris Saint-Germain dropped their first points of the season following a niggly 1-1 draw with Monaco on Sunday night at the Parc des Princes.

The visitors started aggressively. Strikers Kevin Volland and Wissam Ben Yedder harried the PSG defenders to choke the supply lines to the attacking trident of Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Lionel Messi.

Axel Diasi and Mohamed Camara chipped in too with some chunky tackles once the star troika got hold of the ball.

The hosts - who had racked up 17 goals in their three previous games - looked rattled and affronted.

But they failed to regain the poise and purpose that had contributed to the 7-1 annihilation of Lille, the 5-2 romp past Montpellier and the 5-0 jaunt at Clermont.

Breakthrough

And it was as PSG were trying to thread their way through the Monaco midfield that Camara intercepted a pass meant for Messi.

The 23-year-old Malian laid the ball on to Aleksandr Golovin who slickly moved it forward for Volland.

The German steamed goalwards holding off Presnel Kimpembe and slotted past Gigi Donnarumma in the PSG goal.

It was no more than Philippe Clément's men deserved for their grit and adventure.

And then they were lucky. A surging run from Mbappé just before half-time set up Messi whose shot rattled the post and rebounded to Mbappé who slapped his effort onto the post.

Labour

PSG toiled more after the pause to find the equaliser but Monaco held firm until mid way through the second half when Guillermo Maripan felled Neymar in the penalty area.

Initially, referee Benoit Bastien waved play on. But the video assistants called him over to review the incident and after consulting the pitchside monitor, he pointed to the spot.

Neymar placed the kick to the right of the Monaco goalkeeper Alexander Nübel for his sixth goal of the season.

Five minutes later Achraf Hakimi rapped a shot against Nübel's left hand post as PSG sensed a winner.

It never came partly through Nübel's heroics to thwart Mbappé and rugged defending.

"We lacked a bit of movement against a team that was strong and intense," PSG boss Christophe Galtier told Prime Video.

"We often found ourselves in bad positions when we were near their goal and that put them in a good position to start their counter attacks."

Despite the stalemate, Galtier's side remains top of Ligue 1 on goal difference ahead of Marseille - 3-0 winners at Nice on Sunday afternoon - and Lens.