Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain 2 Lille 2
By Football News
Paris Saint-Germain failed to capitalise on title rivals Monaco's slip-up as the Ligue 1 leaders were held to a 2-2 draw by Lille on Sunday.
Laurent Blanc's men dominated for large periods in what was an enthralling contest but were left to settle for a share of the spoils against a Lille side that has now gone 15 games without a win at the Parc des Princes.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic put PSG in front with a free-kick from distance after 36 minutes, the Sweden striker scoring his 23rd goal of the season.
Lille's reply was superb, however, as Rio Mavuba levelled things up a minute before half-time, before Salomon Kalou gave them the lead with a penalty early in the second half.
Still the visitors could not hold on as a grandstand finish was set up midway through the second half courtesy of Marko Basa's own goal.
The hosts pressed for a winner in the closing stages but the capital club missed the chance to go five points clear of second-placed Monaco, who were beaten 2-1 by Valenciennes on Friday.
PSG made one enforced change from the side that beat Rennes 3-1 in their last league game as Lucas Moura replaced Edinson Cavani, who was left out of the team for personal reasons.
Meanwhile, David Rozenhal came in to the Lille defence in place of Simon Kjaer.
The hosts struggled to break down a determined Lille defence in the early stages, but only the fantastic reflexes of goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama prevented them from going in front as he produced a superb reaction save to keep out Ezequiel Lavezzi's effort from Lucas Digne's left-wing delivery.
PSG began to dominate proceedings as the half progressed, and Blanc's side should have taken the lead just after the half-hour mark, Thiago Silva somehow shooting over the bar from point-blank range after Ibrahimovic had inadvertently turned the ball into his path.
However, the captain's profligacy looked to be immaterial four minutes later when Ibrahimovic's long-range free-kick deflected off the wall and into the top corner.
Lille midfielder Mavuba was then perhaps fortunate to stay on the field as he received only a yellow card after pushing Ibrahimovic in the face during an altercation between the pair.
And referee Fredy Fautrel's decision not to dismiss Mavuba proved pivotal shortly after when the 29-year-old produced a smart finish from Marvin Martin's pull back.
Lille emerged from half-time the brighter of the two sides and were rewarded eight minutes into the second half as Kalou converted from the spot following former Lille defender Digne's rash challenge on Franck Beria.
Fortune continued to go against PSG, who were denied a penalty shortly after the hour despite an apparent handball from Martin.
PSG were eventually rewarded for an excellent response after 72 minutes, albeit in slightly fortuitous circumstances, as Basa diverted a corner into his own net.
Both sides pushed for the decisive goal, but it was Ibrahimovic who went closest as he hit a free-kick narrowly over the bar.