Mbappé, PSG play to scoreless draw at Clermont
PARIS (AP) — Star striker Kylian Mbappé was kept quiet and Paris Saint-Germain could not find a way to score in a 0-0 draw at struggling Clermont in the French league on Saturday.
Monaco took advantage of PSG's slip to go top after beating Marseille 3-2, with midfielder Maghnes Akliouche scoring twice and setting up the other goal.
Mbappé shook off a minor injury to his left ankle sustained in last Sunday's 4-0 home win against Marseille and started. He received a yellow card for diving in an attempt to win a penalty in the 80th minute, but could not add to his league-leading seven goals.
Third-place PSG has won only three of its seven league games under new coach Luis Enrique, drawing three and losing one.
PSG is two points behind Monaco. Fourth-place Nice hosts second-place Brest on Sunday and a win for either side would guarantee first place.
PSG winger Bradley Barcola said his team fell well short.
“Drawing here is a below-par performance. We came here with the ambition to win,” he said. “These draws are not helping us to advance. Are we falling behind? I don’t know."
The draw moved Clermont off the bottom and into 17th place with two points.
Goalkeeper Mory Diaw thwarted PSG with a couple of saves in the first half from right winger Ousmane Dembélé.
Clermont defender Cheick Konaté forced a save from PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 53rd minute and, one minute later, Mbappé hit the post from Dembélé's cross.
Diaw, who played for PSG's reserves from 2012-15, produced a fine save from substitute Goncalo Ramos in the 81st and another from midfielder Danilo in stoppage time.
PSG faces a difficult-looking trip to play Newcastle in the Champions League on Wednesday. Barcola refused to use that as an excuse, saying the players had not even spoken about Newcastle before facing Clermont.
Meanwhile, Marseille's new coach Gennaro Gattuso took charge of his first game. He enjoyed a dream start when attacking midfielder Iliman Ndiaye scored in the first minute from striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's cross.
Akliouche equalized in the ninth from striker Wissam Ben Yedder's pass, only for central defender Samuel Gigot to volley home Ndiaye's cross in the 18th. Five minutes later, Akliouche set up striker Folarin Balogun for a neat finish to make it 2-2 in a frenetic opening.
Akliouche's night got even better when the France under-21 international, making his first start of the season, put Monaco ahead in the 52nd. He shot home from 20 meters after Balogun chested the ball down in his path.
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