The most important Ligue 1 match of the season ended in disappointment for Paris Saint-Germain as Bernardo Silva’s goal in stoppage time cancelled out Edinson Cavani’s penalty kick in the 81st minute.
The result ends PSG’s streak of five consecutive wins in all competitions and more importantly, keeps them three points behind both Monaco and OGC Nice in the table. With a win just minutes away, the draw can only be seen as a missed opportunity that critics will point to if Paris fail to win the league.
Overall, the game failed to live up to the hype. Paris found some breathing room in the first half with Cavani and Julian Draxler both missing half-chances. Lucas Moura had the best scoring opportunity in the first 45 minutes with a blast from just outside the box but Danijel Subasic made the save.
Unfortunately for Les Parisiens, it didn’t get much better after halftime. Cavani’s goal, his 29th of the season in all competitions, was the result of a weak penalty decision (won by Draxler) and came against the run of play. Blaise Matuidi was given a 6.9 rating by WhoScored.com but even that is generous. He contributed to a woeful midfield that should shoulder the blame for Bernardo’s goal. The Frenchman constantly gave the ball away and his first touch seemed worse than usual…which is saying something.
On the bright side, Thomas Meunier was absolutely superb throughout the 90 minutes. The Belgium was stout in defense, winning five aerial battles, and created multiple scoring opportunities through accurate crosses and blistering runs. Serge Aurier still isn’t back with the club from international duty but Meunier is certainly making the case for inclusion in the starting lineup, either at right-back or elsewhere.
double grand pont pic.twitter.com/SozsBXunph
— Philou (@philousports) January 29, 2017
Kevin Trapp’s day is definitely worth noting. After a rocky start to the season and losing his place in the team to Alphonse Areola, the German worked his way back into the starting lineup and has performed exceptionally. Trapp made a number of key saves against Monaco that were simply world class. His best on the night was to deny Radamel Falcao early in the second half. Falcao has been in great form this season and his shot from the center of the box looked destined for the back of the net before Trapp’s reaction save. Unfortunately, Trapp wouldn’t be able to make it the full 90 and was subbed off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury after 53 minutes.
— AllezParis (@allezparisfr) January 29, 2017
Unai Emery wasn’t left with a lot of options in midfield due Marco Verratti’s absence. Without the Italian, the middle of the park was dominated by Monaco and the PSG defense was overrun in the second half. Adrien Rabiot was the lone standout in midfield but even he struggled against the pace of Leonardo Jardim’s men.
Given the performance of both teams, you have to say a draw was a fair result. Still, it’s disappointing. Paris Saint-Germain were at home, with a solid squad available and still came up short of securing the three points. Now, they must wait until February 14 for their next real test against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League. A win against Lionel Messi and co. will more than make up for this draw. First though, Paris must get through a Coupe de France match against Stade Rennais F.C. and then three league matches in the span of six days.