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Cavani squanders late penalty as PSG held

Publish on 04/05/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Edinson Cavani had a stoppage-time penalty saved as Paris Saint-Germain were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with OGC Nice at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

Paris Saint-Germain  1 - 1  OGC Nice 

THE MATCH

On an unseasonably cold day in the capital, PSG were handed the chance to take all three points when they won their second penalty of the game as the match moved into injury time. Referee Frank Schneider pointed to the spot following a VAR review into a possible foul by Dante on Neymar Jr, just after the world's most expensive player put his shot over the bar. Cavani stepped up but saw his kick saved by Walter Benítez in the Nice goal.

Nice will feel that justice was done, with the draw probably the right result after Ignatius Ganago's opener for the away side had been cancelled out by Neymar netting the first penalty of the afternoon.

It is just one defeat in seven games for Patrick Vieira's side, good form but not sufficient to stay in the hunt for European qualification. Meanwhile, PSG continue to limp towards the finish line. Thomas Tuchel's men have won just once in six Ligue 1 Conforama matches, as well as losing the Coupe de France final last weekend.

In truth it was another flat performance from Paris, who were again missing top scorer Kylian Mbappé as he served the second game of a three-match ban following his red card in the Cup final.

Cavani made his first start in almost three months after injury, but PSG rarely seriously tested Benítez in the Nice goal. Indeed the Argentine was only properly called into action once in the first half, saving Neymar's fine volley from a Dani Alves cross (8').

Atal attraction

The exciting Atal was the main attraction in the Nice side. Scorer of a hat-trick in last week's 3-0 win over EA Guingamp, the Algerian international right-back started on the wing here. He showed his talent when he chested down a long ball over the top only to be denied by Alphonse Aréola. He then chased down the loose ball and set up Danilo Barbosa for a shot against the woodwork, before the offside flag belatedly came up (26').

Nice then went in front within barely 30 seconds of the restart. Again a ball over the top undid the home defence, with Dante finding Ganago and the young forward from Cameroon firing into the roof of the net for his second goal of the season (46').

However, the outcome of this game ultimately hinged on two incidents in the 58th minute. First, after some sensational set-up play from Atal down the Nice right, Allan Saint-Maximin somehow contrived to hit the bar with the goal gaping from inside the six-yard box. PSG should have been 2-0 down, but instead they went straight up the other end and won a penalty when Ángel Di María was fouled in the box by Patrick Burner. Neymar duly converted from the spot (60') for his 22nd of the season in all competitions.

That was to be that, although Cavani had a goal disallowed for offside shortly after and then squandered that late chance to win the game for the hosts.

THE PLAYER: Edinson Cavani

The Uruguayan had not started a game since injuring himself scoring a penalty in a win over Girondins de Bordeaux here on February 9. He lasted the whole match but could not take the chance to get his 18th league goal of the campaign when he had that late penalty saved. It has been a disappointing few months for him and for his club, in so many ways.

THE STAT: 50

Neymar's goal was his 50th for PSG in 57 games in all competitions.