Montpellier and Paris Saint-Germain could not be separated in the final game of the weekend in Ligue 1. Marco Estrada cancelled out Ludovic Giuly’s opener as it finished 1-1 at the Stade de la Mosson.
Montpellier Hérault SC 1-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Unlike two other fixtures due to take place along the south coast earlier in the day, this encounter was not affected by the weather. However, despite the fact both sides knew a win could see them end the weekend in the top three, it was a rather low-key affair at times, albeit one that was brought to life late in the first period.
It was the capital club that took the lead when, after a Nenê corner from the right came off Souleymane Camara, Giuly pounced to net from close range. Having scored in the midweek League Cup win against former club Lyon, this was his 81st career Ligue 1 goal, leaving him behind only teammate Peguy Luyindula in the list of leading active goal-scorers.
Montpellier reacted quickly, and after Olivier Giroud was denied by the post, they were back on level terms on 42 minutes. Younès Belhanda helped set up Estrada, whose first-time effort beat Apoula Edel to his left.
However, the home side, who became the first team this season to beat Rennes last weekend, rarely looked like winning the game after the restart.
They did come close when Camara rose above a static defence before powering in a header from an Estrada cross that Edel saved comfortably. However, the visitors then missed two gilt-edged chances to retake the lead at the other end. First, Guillaume Hoarau headed a Giuly cross off the base of the post before, as Montpellier made a hash of clearing the danger, Nenê blazed over when it seemed easier to score.
In a last attempt to win the game, PSG coach Antoine Kombouaré changed his team’s shape in the closing quarter of an hour, with his two strikers – Hoarau and Mevlut Erding – being replaced by Luyindula and Mathieu Bodmer.
Nevertheless, the home defence held out comfortably, and it was Camara who missed the last chance of note, failing to direct a cross from substitute Geoffrey Dernis on target.
The draw was a fair result in the end, although it leaves Paris without a win on their last five visits to the Stade de la Mosson on league duty. With a huge week ahead, in which Bundesliga title contenders Borussia Dortmund come calling on Europa League duty before the Classico with Marseille, Kombouaré will be hoping his two strikers rediscover their touch in front of goal.