Toulouse hold PSG, Saint-Etienne lose in French league
Paris, Feb 20 (IANS) Ligue 1 defending champions Paris Saint-Germain failed to build on their momentum in the UEFA Champions League as they recorded a goalless draw at home against Toulouse, while Saint-Etienne suffered their second defeat of the week in the contest for the fourth place with a 2-1 away loss to Montpellier.
On Sunday evening, PSG proved unable to recreate their win in the same stadium where they had battered multiple European champions FC Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 five days ago, reports Xinhua news agency.
Without injured Argentine winger Angel Di Maria, the French defending champions found it difficult to hit the target. The best chance for them came in the second half, but Edinson Cavani’s effort was denied by a collective effort of the opposing team.
The draw extended PSG’s unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions, and wasted a great chance to cut the gap from Monaco to a single point after the league leaders tied struggling Bastia at 1-1 on Friday. Currently placed second, PSG were ahead of Nice on goal difference alone, who edged past bottom-ranked Lorient 1-0 a day earlier.
After being blasted away by Manchester United 3-0 in the Europa League last 32 first-leg on Thursday, Saint-Etienne still could not find a winning path back in the league, although they took an early lead on Kevin Monnet-Paquet’s goal 12 minutes into their game against Montpellier.
After midfielder Paul Lasne helped Montpellier level the game in the 49th minute, Saint-Etienne were reduced to 10 players as forward Jorginho was sent off two minutes later.
Montpellier’s Steve Mounie scored his 10th goal of the campaign midway through the second half, handing Saint-Etienne their second straight loss this week.
Trailing 1-2 against Dijon with 10 minutes remaining, Lyon showed their resilience and scored three goals to make a strong comeback. Alexandre Lacazette, whose value reportedly reached 55 million euros, finished his 21 league goals of the season on a penalty to give Lyon a 3-2 lead before substitute forward Nabil Fekir sealed the win for the team.
With a game in hand, fourth-ranked Lyon are four points above Saint-Etienne, Marseille and Bordeaux, who crushed Guingamp 3-0 earlier on Sunday.