Paris - Edinson Cavani saved a
point for Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday as the Ligue 1 leaders
slipped for the second time in a week with a hugely entertaining 1-1
draw at Strasbourg.
The Uruguayan striker fired home a 71st-minute
penalty to maintain PSG's unbeaten record after 16 games despite a
disjointed performance without injured star attacker Neymar, equalising
Kenny Lala's own spot-kick four minutes before the break for the
spirited hosts, who came close to inflicting their opponents first
league defeat of the season.
"If you arrive in flip flops against PSG, you go home with a good spanking," said Strasbourg coach Thierry Laurey.
suffered at times but we managed to minimise their offensive power.
They dominated the play but we were never in too much danger."
Tuchel's side, who also drew at Bordeaux at the weekend and started
without Kylian Mbappe and Thiago Silva, remain way ahead of the rest
after a night in France full of late goals, incident and VAR.
PSG are 14 points ahead of Lille, who moved second on Tuesday after
beating Montpellier 1-0 and stayed there thanks to Hatem Ben Arfa and
Jordan Siebatcheu leading Rennes to a 2-0 win at Lyon on Wednesday.
Genesio's Lyon are fourth, 15 points behind PSG, while inconsistent
Marseille are a further two points back after a 3-2 defeat at Nantes.
now don't play until they travel to Serbia for their Champions League
clash at Red Star Belgrade, where a win will ensure their progress to
the last 16, after Saturday's match with Montpellier was postponed
because of security concerns.
"We reacted and showed a lot of
quality in the second half. We completely controlled play in the
opposing half and had both a lot of possession and dangerous
situations," said Tuchel.
"We played very well in the second half, showed quality but could not score."
Night of drama
video assistant referees were involved in a series of key decisions on
Wednesday, and it was VAR that helped Strasbourg take the lead over PSG,
with referee Antony Gautier awarding Lala's spot kick a full four
minutes after Thilo Kehrer handled Lionel Carole's fizzing cross.
half-time deficit led Tuchel to bring Mbappe off the bench, and it was
France's World Cup star who won the penalty that Cavani blasted past
Matz Sels, Lala hacking the 19-year-old superstar down in the box.
looked a different proposition to the sluggish team that slogged
through the opening period, and Kehrer thought he had made amends for
giving away the opening penalty six minutes after the break, only to see
his header saved at point-blank range by Sels.
However as the half wore on the away side ran out of ideas and Strasbourg made a push for the win in the final minutes.
Adrien Thomasson forced a superb stop from Alphonse Areola with a
minute left, and the 24-year-old thought he had snatched a famous win
deep in injury time when he headed home Youssouf Fofana's pinpoint
However while the majority of the crowd celebrated wildly,
the linesman's flag was rightly raised to rule the unfortunate
Thomasson's goal out for offside.
Chief among the other
crucials decisions helped by VAR on a dramatic night was Loick Landre's
96th-minute winner for Nimes at Caen, which came after Prince Oniangue
had levelled at 1-1 in the 90th minute and was eventually given after
Landre was found to be onside.
VAR also came to Bordeaux's
assistance by awarding the penalty slotted home by Francois Kamano as
they followed up on drawing with PSG at the weekend with a last gasp 3-2
win over Champions League-chasing Saint-Etienne at the Matmut