Folarin Balogun scored six minutes into injury time to rescue a 1-1 draw for Stade de Reims at Paris Saint-Germain, extending Will Still's unbeaten run as the Champagne club's head coach to 12 games.
Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Stade de Reims
Lionel Messi volleyed an early chance over Reims' crossbar (3') but the visitors were the better team for much of the first half. Balogun forced a save from Gigio Donnarumma with a fine shot on the turn (11') before Junya Ito fired wide from a Thomas Foket cutback (15'). Still set his side up to push Paris high up the park, and Marshall Munetsi had a gilt-edged chance when a Donnarumma pass out from the back fell to him, but he took a heavy touch and the Italy No.1 recovered (17'). Balogun then volleyed over with his left foot (21') before Ito had another chance which Donnarumma raced off his line to quell (23'). Alexis Flips curled yet another Reims effort over the bar (24') and Munetsi tried an acrobatic attempt that came to nothing (29'). To say PSG were relieved to hear Ruddy Buquet's whistle for half-time would be an understatement.
Balogun has final say
It wasn't until the second half that PSG had their first shot on target, which was also the game's opening goal. Messi's shot ricocheted through to Neymar Jr. and the Brazilian showed great composure to get around Yehvann Diouf and flick the ball home for his 12th goal of the campaign (51'). Balogun thought he had earned a penalty from Marquinhos soon after, but PSG were let off with the Arsenal-owned man having been offside (57'). Paris went down to 10 men minutes later, Marco Verratti given his marching orders for a dangerous tackle on Ito (59'). Paris still came forward, though, and Sergio Ramos was denied twice in quick succession following a corner (64') before Achraf Hakimi had a goal ruled out for offside (65'). Messi fired a rare right-footed shot wide (82') but Balogun had the final say, racing onto a Kamory Doumbia pass to slot home his 11th of the season (90'+6) and it ended 1-1
THE PLAYER: Folarin Balogun
Balogun has been a revelation since joining Reims on loan from Arsenal at the start of the season, impressing to such a degree that there was a genuine fear amongst the Reims support that the Premier League leaders would try to recall him early in light of Gabriel Jesus' injury. His 11th of the season tonight gives him a goal every 121 minutes in Ligue 1 Uber Eats.
THE STAT: 12
Reims are yet to taste defeat in 12 games in all competitions since Still replaced Oscar Garcia as head coach in October. The draw sees them climb a place to 11th - they would surely have been in the European conversation if the English-Belgian had been in charge for the whole campaign.