Unai Emery was happy to see Paris Saint-Germain escape with a point against Saint-Etienne after describing their first half as “the worst of the season”.
The Ligue 1 leaders snatched a 1-1 draw at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard courtesy of an own goal from Mathieu Debuchy in second-half stoppage time.
Emery made seven changes to the team that beat Monaco in the Coupe de la Ligue final and watched his side produce a miserable first-half display, in which Remy Cabella put Saint-Etienne ahead and missed a penalty.
Presnel Kimpembe was sent off four minutes ahead of the break but PSG improved in the second half, although Edinson Cavani missed an open goal before they were eventually saved by Debuchy’s misfortune.
Emery was pleased with the response shown after the interval but conceded the draw was perhaps harsh on the home side.
“There were two very different periods,” he said, as quoted by L’Equipe. “The first was the worst of the season. The opposition had quality players and that meant it took a lot of work.
7 – Paris have benefited from 7 own goals in Ligue 1 2017/18, at least 3 more than any other side from the Top 5 European leagues this season. Lucky. pic.twitter.com/T5lT9eYqnE
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 6, 2018
“We conceded the opening goal and Saint-Etienne would have deserved to lead by even more.
“We have shown we can change things by being more coordinated. We tried to close down the spaces for our opponents.
“In the second half, things were different. We had chances and the goal came in the final minute.
“I’m happy with the reaction of my team. The draw might be unfair but, in the second half, for the work we put in, we deserved this point.”
Midfielder Lassana Diarra accepted PSG were the inferior team but was content with a point that takes them a step closer to winning the title.
“We go back home with one point,” he said. “We faced a very good Saint-Etienne team. They are on a nice run.
“We have to be honest, they started the game better than us. They were aggressive, with good ball possession, a very talented Cabella. But it is good for us because we didn’t lose.
“Of course, every game is important and you should try to win all of them. We will try to be champions as fast as we can.”
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