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Caen safe with PSG draw

Publish on 19/05/2018 at 00h00 - S. WILLIS

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History repeated itself for SM Caen as the Normandy club once again held Paris Saint-Germain on the final day to secure Ligue 1 Conforama survival.

 SM Caen  0 - 0  Paris Saint-Germain Logo Paris Saint-Germain

THE MATCH

A year ago, Caen had gone to Paris on the final day still in danger of being relegated, and in the end they needed a stoppage-time Ronny Rodelin equaliser to earn them a 1-1 draw and keep them up.

When the fixtures for this season were released, they would have looked at this game at the Stade Michel-d'Ornano and dreaded the prospect of having to do the same again. And Patrice Garande's side did indeed find themselves requiring a point from this match to avoid any prospect of being caught by 18th-placed Toulouse FC and being forced into a relegation play-off.

A 2-1 win for Toulouse against EA Guingamp guaranteed a nervy finale for Caen and their supporters, but the final outcome here was never truly in doubt, with PSG having taken their foot off the gas a few weeks ago after romping to the title.

This game may have ended goalless, but there were plenty of chances, especially in the first half.

Mbengue hits bar

Caen nearly stunned the champions early on as Adama Mbengue's left-wing cross almost caught out Alphonse Aréola, the ball coming back off the junction of bar and far post (11'). Aréola was also forced into a decent save from Romain Genevois (43'), with Jessy Deminguet and Ivan Santini also threatening in the first period.

The visitors dominated possession as expected, but Brice Samba - again standing in for the injured Rémy Vercoutre - denied them by saving from Christopher Nkunku's first-time effort from a Thomas Meunier cut-back (13') and then parrying a sweetly-struck shot by Thiago Motta, denying the PSG skipper a goal on his farewell appearance.

Motta also headed wide in the second half, but the intensity dropped after the break, with Caen only threatening when Ronny Rodelin, showing excellent technique, forced a save from Aréola towards the end.

Caen saw the game out, while Paris coach Unai Emery - who had already handed teenager Timothy Weah a first Ligue 1 Conforama start in his final team selection before he makes way for Thomas Tuchel - also handed a top-flight bow to 17-year-old Yacine Adli late on.

THE PLAYER: Timothy Weah

With Neymar Jr back in Brazil again, Edinson Cavani absent and Kylian Mbappé watching from the stands, Emery gave Weah his first start here. The 18-year-old, son of George, had previously appeared from the bench in wins over ESTAC Troyes and FC Metz. He lasted the 90 minutes on this occasion, although in truth he found the going tough.

THE STAT: 27

Caen finish the season staying up despite failing to win any of their last 10 games. They also scored just 27 goals, the worst total for any team since AC Arles-Avignon went down with just 21 goals to their name in 2010-11.