Troyes fight back to claim draw at lacklustre PSG

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Relegation-threatened Troyes fought back from a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 at Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday night to snatch a point that edged them closer to Ligue 1 safety.

Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino fielded his "Fantastic Four" of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappé and Neymar to give heart to Troyes' fellow strugglers.

And it was Di Maria who provided the cross for Marquinhos to slot home after six minutes.

PSG doubled their lead 15 minutes later.

Neymar sent Mbappé racing into the Troyes penalty area and the 23-year-old was brought down by Erik Palmer-Brown.

As Mbappé received treatment behind the goal, Neymar stepped up for the spot kick.

The Brazil international placed it to the right of goalkeeper Jessy Moulin.

So far, so comfortable for a side that had claimed the top flight titlefor a record-equalling 10th time with a 1-1 draw at home to Lens two weeks ago.

It was perhaps the lack of jeopardy that elicited the sloppiness on the half hour.

Under no pressure on the left, PSG defender Nuno Mendes rolled the ball across field - allegedly to a teammate.

But it ended up at the feet of the Troyes striker Iké Ugbo who advanced into the penalty area.

The Canada international looked up and lashed the ball past the PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas to halve the deficit.

Five minutes later, Mendes nearly atoned for his sins with a storming run down the left to set up Messi. But the Argentine's shot dribbled wide.


Neymar went on a crowd-pleasing jolly up the field past one man and then past Giulian Biancone who promptly ran back to chop down the Brazilian before he could humiliate any more of his teammates.

There used to be a time when Messi would leave an opposition defence sliced apart. But those moments seem eons away.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner appears nothing more now than jinks and dinked passes than surging runs and clinical finishing.

More was expected of PSG's assembled talents in the second-half. But it was Troyes who struck within minutes of the restart.

PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe pulled back Renaud Ripart in the penalty area and referee Jerome Brisard pointed to the spot for the second time in the game.

Florian Tardieu's perfectly executed Panenka - the ball chipped into the middle of the goal as the goalkeeper dives one way - sent the Troyes supporters wild.

Neymar and the PSG faithful thought he had restored the lead on the hour when he ran on to a loose ball and thrashed home past Moulin but the video assistant referee spotted an Mbappé shove on Palmer-Brown in the build-up to halt the celebrations.

The PSG fans whistled at the outrage while the Troyes contingent cheered deliriously.

And it was their chants and songs at the final whistle that rang into the night air as the home supporters gave vent to their discontent. The fantastic well and truly floored.

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