Pastore poise inspires PSG fightback
Javier Pastore’s second stunning goal in as many games helped Paris Saint-Germain battle back from 2-0 down at Ligue 2 champions Evian-Thonon-Gaillard to draw 2-2.
PSG were in sunny Annecy looking for their seventh straight win in all competitions. The home side made a magnificent start with Yannick Sagbo getting the ball through to Jérôme Leroy and the ex-PSG man struck against his former club on 14 minutes. At the age of 37, Leroy showed there's still top flight life in him as he guided the ball past Salvatore Sirigu. Sagbo's pass had defelcted off Sylvain Armand, enduring a difficult first league start of the season after a knee injury.
Evian were awarded a penalty six minutes later. Sagbo's headed flick-on caused problems for Armand and he went in over the top on Mohammed Rabiu after miscontrolling.
Sagbo makes it two
Sagbo, who was club top scorer in Ligue 2 last season with nine, sent Sirigu the wrong way and PSG coach Antoine Kombouaré was staring in the face a first defeat since the opening day loss to Lorient. It could have been three as Aldo Angoula powered a header goalwards and Sirigu made the dramatic save.
PSG were stuttering and needed all the help they could get. Tie Bi's backpass gave Kevin Gameiro a great chance but Evian's Danish international goalkeeper Stephan Andersen came to Tie Bi's rescue.
Two minutes before half-time Pastore dragged PSG back into the game with a moment of individual brilliance. Just like his Week 5 winner against Brest, this was out of the very top drawer from the 42 million euro man. Picking up the ball five metres outside the box, Pastore left three defenders beaten and Andersen bamboozled.
Evian wanted to restore their two-goal cushion and Rabiu, the Ghanaian international, connected cleanly with a volley midway through the second half, although PSG had been enjoying the better of things up until then. Leroy's vision created the next chance with Sagbo getting the wrong side of the defence. His first touch wasn't bad, but his second was as Armand got back at him to put him off.
PSG made a double change with Mathieu Bodmer and Mevlut Erding on to assist in the quest for a leveller - and it worked. Erding rose so high to greet Marcos Ceara's corner and Bodmer outmuscled Guillaume Rippert. Erding had also made a huge impact in PSG's last away game at Toulouse, coming in with the scoreline locked at 1-1 and scoring one and making another as it finished 3-1.
The biggest win of their young Ligue 1 life was fading from view, but Evian substitute Nicolas Farina gave it one last whirl and Armand got his body in the way of the goalbound shot.
PSG moved on to 11 points and Evian up to seven as they continue to adjust to life in the top flight. Three of the Evian back four had played against PSG in the clubs' only previous competitive meeting in the French Cup in January 2010. Back then Evian were a National (D3) club. They have come a long way since in a short space of time.