PSG slip up in Burgundy
Paris Saint-Germain missed a chance to go back level on points with leaders Montpellier as Anthony Le Tallec scored a late equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw for AJ Auxerre.
AJ Auxerre 1 - 1 Paris Saint-Germain
An hour or so before kick-off PSG defender Milan Bisevec tweeted "Thank you Lorient". It was a nod to the Brittany side's unexpected 2-1 win over Montpellier, a result that opened the door for the Parisians to rejoin the league leaders at the top of the table. However, poor finishing and a heroic effort from bottom club Auxerre saw the spoils shared at the Stade Abbé-Deschamps.
With striker Guillaume Hoarau out suspended, PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti chose to start Kevin Gameiro for the first time in three weeks, Mathieu Bodmer came in for Mohamed Sissoko (also suspended) while Javier Pastore was relegated to the bench.
Gameiro was instrumental in the first clear-cut chance for the visitors when he sent Jérémy Ménez on his way with a cheeky backheel. The ex-Roma striker looked to have set goalkeeper Olivier Sorin but then fired into the side netting (13').
Gameiro was proving good value and was key to the opener ten minutes later. The former Lorient man split the home defence to allow Nenê to waltz past a couple of defenders and fire home his 14th goal of the season. It was also the Brazilian's fifth goal against Auxerre in six matches.
The hosts offered practically nothing in attack in the first period but that changed in the second and they had a brilliant chance to pull level just eight minutes after the restart. Kamel Chafni, who scored when AJA beat PSG last season, nearly repeated the trick after some smart play by the veteran Olivier Kapo. Chafni's fierce strike was too good for Salvatore Sirigu but cannoned off the post much to the home fans despair (53').
That chance seemed to inspire the hosts and the Moroccan turned provider and set up Denis Oliech on the hour mark. This time, though, Sirigu pulled off a fantastic save to maintain PSG's ever more slender looking advantage (60').
The visitors tried to get themselves back into the game and Nenê had a chance to double the lead with 21 minutes to go. Sorin, however, reacted quickly to make the save and keep Auxerre in it.
Le Tallec has his say
For their willingness and refusal to give up AJA deserved something out of the game and they were rewarded with three minutes left on the clock. PSG have made a habit of scoring late winners or equalisers this season, this time they got a taste of their own medicine. Anthony Le Tallec found himself in the right place at the right time to bundle the ball home after an ugly goalmouth scramble (87").
It wasn't a goal for the purist but they all count and a shar of the points was over the piece a fair result. Auxerre, however, look doomed for relegation despite the well-earned point. The Burgundians are five points from their rivals in the relegation battle. The one thing that could save them is goal difference which is better than the teams above them but they need to close the gap first.
PSG, meanwhile, are in a straight shootout with Montpellier. The southerners have a two point advantage but, as has been proved this weekend, both teams are capable of dropping points against the most unlikeliest of opponents.