French leader PSG blows two-goal lead in home draw with Brest
PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain blew a two-goal advantage and saw its French league lead over Nice reduced to six points after a 2-2 draw with surprise front-runner Brest on Sunday.
PSG led 2-0 at the break but an own-goal and an equalizer 10 minutes from the end exposed ongoing difficulties at the back when under pressure.
Luis Enrique is the latest PSG coach to be confronted with a problem with composure that resurfaces every season, especially when star striker Kylian Mbappé fails to paper over the cracks with his scoring.
He could not add to his league-leading 19 goals and was shown a yellow card early in the second half over a heated exchange with defender Kenny Lala.
Winger Jérémy Le Douaron went close with a header in the 19th minute as Brest settled well, and PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had to make a smart save from Romain Del Castillo in the 28th.
At least that woke PSG up.
Attacking midfielder Marco Asensio opened the scoring 10 minutes later with an angled drive after being set up by left winger Bradley Barcola and, moments before the break, forward Randal Kolo Muani doubled the lead when he followed up a thwarted effort from Asensio.
But PSG has been blighted by sloppy defending in recent years, and Mahdi Camara's shot was deflected past Donnarumma by central defender Danilo Pereira in the 55th to give coach Eric Roy's Brest side hope.
Brest's first goal came moments after Mbappé's caution and a frustrating night for the World Cup star got worse as he watched PSG's defense capitulate again. Brest midfielder Mathias Pereira Lage expertly backheeled Martín Satriano's left-wing cross past Donnarumma for 2-2 in the 80th.
Mbappé grabbed a last-gasp winner when the sides met in October but this time saw a late effort blocked by defender Brendan Chardonnet.
PSG finished with 10 players at a deflated Parc des Princes when an agitated Barcola got a second yellow card in the final seconds of stoppage time.
Brest is nine points behind PSG in third place and has a chance to knock PSG out of the French Cup when it returns to Paris in the round-of-16 match on Feb. 7.
Earlier, Lille missed the chance to go ahead of Monaco on goal difference and into fourth place when it drew 0-0 at Montpellier.
However, Lille still did well to earn a point with 10 players after Ayyoub Bouaddi's sending off in first-half stoppage time for a foul on playmaker Téji Savanier.
Lille remains in fifth place and two points ahead of Reims, which could only draw 0-0 with visiting Nantes.
Veteran midfielder Andre Ayew rolled back the years with a spectacular goal to earn Le Havre a 3-3 draw at rock-bottom Lorient.
The Ghana international scored his first two goals since joining Le Havre this summer. He twice equalized for his team, with a header in the 85th minute for 2-2 and in the fourth minute of stoppage time with an overhead kick to make it 3-3.
In other games, eighth-place Lens won 2-0 at struggling Toulouse with goals from midfielders David Pereira da Costa and Andy Diouf, while coach Patrick Vieira’s midtable Strasbourg side drew 1-1 at Clermont.
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer