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Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Monaco: Neymar penalty saves point for champions



Paris Saint-Germain were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Monaco as their 100 per cent start to the season came to an end.

PSG started the first half well, but a pinpoint Kevin Volland finish past Gianluigi Donnarumma put the visitors ahead at the break.

Christophe Galtier’s team pressed for an equaliser in the second period and found one when VAR awarded a penalty for a foul on Neymar, who stepped up himself to stroke home the spot-kick.

The hosts pushed for a winner, but could not find one as Monaco held on for a point.

PSG were ultimately frustrated not to pick up all three points, while Monaco will be glad to escape the capital with a draw.

The Ligue 1 champions dominated the early possession but fell behind after 20 minutes when Volland latched onto an Aleksandr Golovin throughball before rifling into the bottom-right corner.

Monaco nearly had a second before half-time, but Donnarumma scampered across his line just in time to tip Caio Henrique’s curling free-kick wide.

PSG hit the frame of the goal twice in quick succession in first-half stoppage time as a Lionel Messi drive rebounded off the left post straight to Kylian Mbappe, whose first-time effort hit the other upright.

Wissam Ben Yedder could have made it 2-0 after the interval when Donnarumma was caught well out of his goal, but the France international’s long-range shot went over the crossbar.

Neymar and Renato Sanches both went close to levelling for the hosts, but a combination of Alexander Nubel and poor finishing maintained Monaco’s lead.

Galtier’s men finally equalised when VAR awarded a spot-kick for a Guillermo Maripan trip on Neymar. The Brazil international fired the resulting penalty into the bottom-left corner.

Monaco came under increasing pressure in the remaining minutes as PSG hunted a winner, Achraf Hakimi being denied by the post, but Philippe Clement’s team held on for an impressive point.

What does it mean? PSG stumble at home

The draw takes PSG’s home unbeaten streak in Ligue 1 to 24 games, but they will be frustrated not to have won considering the chances they had. They attempted 18 shots to Monaco’s four, while hitting the woodwork three times. The visitors had just 33.2 per cent of the possession and will count themselves lucky to have earned a draw.

Lively Verratti

Marco Verratti had an excellent game in midfield for the hosts, winning back possession a team-high 10 times while also leading his side in tackles (5) and touches (140). He kept things ticking over for his side with the most attempted passes among PSG players (116), completing over 90 per cent of them.

Mediocre Messi

The former Barcelona forward was not at his brilliant best, struggling to make an impact before he was substituted in the 87th minute with PSG searching for a winner. He lost possession 15 times and won just 53.8 per cent of his duels, while failing to hit the target with either of his two shots.

Key Opta Facts

– Since Monaco’s return to Ligue 1 in 2013-14, Paris Saint-Germain have won just seven of their 19 games against Monaco in the top flight (D7 L5).

– Monaco have won just one of their last five Ligue 1 games (D3 L1), after having won in each of their previous nine.

– PSG have won only two of their last five Ligue 1 home games (D3), after having won 18 of their previous 19 (D1).

– PSG have hit the woodwork 28 times in Ligue 1 since the start of last season, at least 12 more times than any other team over the period.

– PSG have gained 23 points from a losing position since the start of last season in Ligue 1, with only Hoffenheim (25) doing better among teams in the top five European leagues over the same period.

What’s next?

Next up for PSG is a visit to Toulouse in Ligue 1 on Wednesday, while Monaco host Troyes.

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