Munetsi's Reims Deny PSG Victory With Late Goal


Paris Saint-Germain missed the chance to restore their five-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 after drawing 1-1 with Reims on Sunday night.

Ligue 1

Result: Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Reims

Date: 29 January 2023

Venue: Parc des Princes

PSG made four changes to the side that narrowly lost to Rennes, as Kylian Mbappe was recalled to join Lionel Messi and Neymar upfront for the first time since the World Cup break, while Achraf Hakimi, Carlos Soler and Fabian Ruiz were also recalled.

Reims had a bright start as they kept the Parisians on the back foot and former Orlando Pirates defender Marshall Munetsi came close to giving his side an early lead with a header at the back post that forced goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma into a reflex save.

Christophe Galtier's charges struggled to find their rhythm going forward and were constantly chasing Reims, who kept Donnarumma and his defence problems with their high press.

The Parisians controlled the contest better towards the interval but the front combination of Mbappe, Neymar and Messi was yet to click, as shot-stopper Yehvann Diouf did not have to make any save in the first stanza.

The famous PSG triumvirate finally came to the party early in the second stanza, as Neymar profited from a ricochet from Messi's shot to go through on goal and rounded Diouf before netting scoring into an empty net. 

Reims were fired up to get back into the game and their pressure forced PSG to be reduced to ten men just before the hour-mark after Marco Verratti, who had just come on at half-time, had a yellow card upgraded to red following Video Assistant Referee (VAR) consultation for a strong challenge on Junya Ito.

To compensate for Verratti's dismissal, Galtier sacrificed Soler in midfield and brought on Danilo Pereira to shore up the defence.

PSG, however, remained a threat going forward as Sergio Ramos was unfortunate not to make it 2-0 moments later with a header that came off the crossbar and his two efforts from the rebound were cleared off the line.

Mbappe should have put the game to bed for PSG with seven minutes to go after going clear on goal but he was denied by Diouf in a one-on-one and the rebound fell to Messi, who dragged his shot wide.

Reims had the momentum in the dying minutes and after a couple of threats, Folarin Balogun finally snatched the equaliser with a strike in the box from a through ball.

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