French football

PSG leave it late to beat Saint Etienne and cut Lille's lead to one point

Kylian Mbappé scored Paris Saint-Germain's equaliser and second goal in their 3-2 win over Saint-Etienne.
Kylian Mbappé scored Paris Saint-Germain's equaliser and second goal in their 3-2 win over Saint-Etienne. JEFF PACHOUD AFP/Archives

Paris Saint-Germain moved to within one point of pacesetters Lille on Sunday after a 3-2 last gasp win over Saint-Etienne.


The drama exploded in the last 12 minutes at the Parc des Princes.

Denis Bouanga flicked home Miguel Trauco's cross from the left to give the visitors an unlikely lead after spending most of the match under the cosh.

But Saint-Etienne could not celebrate for long.

Within a minute, Kylian Mbappé fired home the equaliser after bringing down Ander Herrera's lobbed pass into the penalty area and slotting past Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Etienne Green.

Three minutes from time, Green fouled Mbappé as they clashed for a through ball. The France international picked himself off the turf and fired low to Green's right to give the hosts the lead.


He celebrated wildly but there was another twist two minutes into stoppage-time. Romain Hamouma knocked in the rebound after Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Sergio Rico had parried Bouanga's shot into his path.

But Saint-Etienne could not profit from their good fortune.

With virtually the last action of the game, second-half substitutes Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria combined for the winner as Icardi rose at the back post to head home Di Maria's cross from the right.

PSG move onto 69 points after their late escape. Lille boast 70 points following their 1-1 draw on Friday night against Montpellier.

The drama of the last 15 minutes seemed another reality from the start of the show as both PSG and Saint-Etienne began sedately.


Of the protagonists, Saint-Etienne’s unhurried demeanour in the afternoon sunshine bathing the stadium was more understandable.

After a couple of months sliding towards the relegation zone, three wins in the past four games have taken them clear of danger and into mid table.

PSG, by contrast, had no right to such langour in their pursuit of Lille.

When the hosts upped the tempo misfortune and poor marksmanship undid them.

Pablo Sarrabia hit the post from a free kick in the 28th minute and with Green's goal gaping, Danilo blasted the rebound high over the bar.

Minutes later Rafinha should have slotted home when set up by Mbappé who then squandered a glorious chance to break the deadlock after Trauco inexplicably pushed his free-kick on the left towards the centre.

Mbappé bore down and goal and after creating the angle blasted high over Green's bar.

Di Maria, Marco Verratti and Icardi - 200 million euros worth of talent - came on for Sarabia, Rafinha and Moise Kean in the 67th minute. 

Half an hour later, two of the three combined for what could be a turning point in the Ligue 1 title race.

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