Julian Draxler was Paris Saint-Germain's hero as he struck deep into added time against FC Metz in Wednesday's rescheduled Round 1 fixture to give the reigning Ligue 1 Uber Eats champions their first points of the season.
After self-isolating following postitive COVID-19 tests, Angel Di Maria, Keylor Navas and Marquinhos came into the starting XI to make their first appearances of the season while Abdou Diallo made his maiden start. Within a minute, the latter was in the book after a challenge on Ibrahima Niane that set the tone for a testing evening not only for the ex-Borussia Dortmund man but also his team.
It would have been tougher had Navas not been alert to race from his goal to grab Farid Boulaya's through ball before Niane (7'). At the opposite end, Alexandre Oukidja turned aside Pablo Sarabia's strike after he had been put in the clear by Di Maria (13').
Navas was called into serious action by Boulaya, who had taken advantage of a careless loss of possession (25'), as was Oukidja, who stopped both Idrissa Gueye (37') and Draxler (40') before the break.
PSG had won their last eight league meetings with Metz, scoring 27 times in those matches. Their chances of extending that run took a blow when Diallo was dismissed for a second yellow card 25 minutes from time.
The UEFA Champions League runners-up pressed forward though and Mauro Icardi was denied by Oukidja (77') as was Di Maria (79') as the hosts looked increasingly frustrated.
After back-to-back defeats, Thomas Tuchel's men appeared for another disappointment before Draxler headed home after Oukidja had weakly pushed out a Di Maria corner (90+3') to the obvious relief of those in the Parc des Princes.
THE PLAYER: Julian Draxler
It has not been an easy few months for the Germany international, but he has continued working and was rewarded while also relieving some of the pressure on his team.
THE STAT: 42
Draxler's goal came from PSG's 42nd attempt on goal this season.