PSG held as Brest fight back for draw in Ligue 1

 Paris Saint-Germain blew a two-goal lead as in-form Brest staged an impressive comeback to hold the French champions to a 2-2 draw in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Marco Asensio, making his first league start since September, volleyed PSG ahead at the Parc des Princes late in the first half before Randal Kolo Muani tapped in a second for the hosts before the break.

An own goal by Danilo on 55 minutes offered Brest a way back into the match and Mathias Pereira Lage put an end to the visitors’ run of 14 successive defeats by PSG with a clever back-heel flick to equalise.

PSG had Bradley Barcola, who played a key part in both of his team’s goals, sent off after he picked up two yellow cards in stoppage time.

“It’s a great evening for us,” said Brest coach Eric Roy.

“Being 2-0 down at the Parc des Princes can turn into a nightmare, but this team has always believed in itself. Lots of teams would have crumbled at half-time.”

Luis Enrique’s side saw their lead at the top shaved to six points following Nice’s 1-0 victory over Metz on Saturday. Brest, now unbeaten in eight games, remain nine points adrift of the leaders.

The two sides meet again in Paris in the last 16 of the French Cup on February 7. Brest have not beaten PSG in the last 27 meetings, a run stretching back to 1985.

“The cup match is going to be very difficult,” said Luis Enrique. “If it’s anything like the second half we could be in trouble.”

Chasing an 11th win in 12 outings, PSG were made to be patient before a moment of inspiration from Barcola unlocked the Brest defence.

After being restricted to Kylian Mbappe’s shot that was turned away by Brest goalkeeper Marco Bizot, Barcola picked out Asensio’s dart into the box with a delightful chipped pass the Spaniard steered first-time inside the far post.

Barcola and Asensio combined again minutes later to leave Kolo Muani with a tap-in, the France striker reacting quickest after Bizot got a hand to Asensio’s effort.

Mbappe was booked for reacting angrily to being tossed to the ground by Kenny Lala, and not long after Brest cut the deficit in half.

Romain Del Castillo worked his way into the area and found Mahdi Camara, whose effort struck Danilo and trickled past a wrong-footed Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Brest were rewarded for their persistence with 10 minutes left as Martin Satriano set up Pereira Lage to flick home, the latest highlight in a remarkable season for the modest Brittany club which has never finished higher than eighth.

Ghana’s Andre Ayew scored twice on his return from the Africa Cup of Nations, popping up with a stoppage-time equaliser for Le Havre in a 3-3 draw at bottom side Lorient.

Lens won 2-0 at Toulouse while Clermont against Strasbourg ended 1-1.

Tino Kadewere missed a penalty for Nantes in a 0-0 draw at Reims, while Montpellier were held at home by 10-man Lille in another goalless stalemate.


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