Friday, March 31, 2023

Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Reims: Balogun stuns 10-man PSG with late leveller

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jan 2023


Folarin Balogun stunned Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes with a last-gasp equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw for Reims.

Neymar opened the scoring early in the second half to give Christophe Galtier’s home side the lead, but substitute Marco Verratti was sent off soon afterwards.

PSG continued to have the better chances but could not extend their lead, though the 10 men still looked set to grind out a valuable win to return to winning ways on Ligue 1 duty.

Balogun had other ideas though, latching onto Kamory Doumbia’s throughball to slot past Gianluigi Donnarumma in the sixth minute of stoppage time and stun the home crowd.

Reims were almost gifted an opener with just seconds on the clock, with Donnarumma’s pass intercepted by Marshall Munetsi on the edge of the box, but the PSG goalkeeper recovered to smother the ball.

The visitors continued to apply pressure, Ito fizzing a volley past the right post before Donnarumma denied Munetsi with a point-blank save on the goal line.

Six minutes into the second half, Lionel Messi’s shot deflected off Juan Bernat and into the path of Neymar who rounded Yehvann Diouf, flicking an effort off the crossbar to open the scoring.

Reims thought they had an immediate chance to equalise when Balogun was fouled inside the area, but the penalty decision was overturned due to an offside, though a foul in the build-up from Verratti on Ito was looked at by VAR and resulted in a red card for the midfielder.

PSG remained a threat and Sergio Ramos’ header was clipped against the bar by Alexis Flips before Achraf Hakimi latched onto Messi’s pass and slotted a fine finish past Diouf, only for his celebrations to be cut short by an offside flag.

Those missed chances came back to haunt the hosts when Balogun raced through onto Doumbia’s inviting pass to score his 11th Ligue 1 goal of the season and leave PSG winless in their last two outings in the competition.

What does it mean? Champions out of sync

With superstar attackers Neymar, Messi and Kylian Mbappe starting together for the first time since the World Cup, PSG would have hoped to return to Ligue 1 winning ways after a shock defeat to Rennes.

Galtier’s players were far from their best though, particularly in the first half when they had just a single effort at goal, and Reims’ equaliser was nothing less than the visitors deserved.

Fortunately for PSG, Lens and Marseille were both held on Saturday to miss the chance to close the gap, but the defending champions have dropped points in three of their last four league games.

Verratti’s red mist

Sent off just 13 minutes and 15 seconds after his introduction at half-time, Verratti’s red card was the third-fastest for a PSG substitute since Opta records began in 2006-07.

Only Layvin Kurzawa (12 minutes, 46 seconds) and David Beckham (nine minutes, 21 seconds) have received their marching orders quicker as a substitute.

Brilliant Balogun

Balogun’s assault on Donnarumma’s goal was relentless throughout, with his total of six shots being higher than any other player on the field.

The Arsenal loanee also had eight touches in the opposition box, with only Mbappe (10) having more in the game.

What’s next?

PSG are back in Ligue 1 action when they travel to Montpellier on Wednesday, with Reims hosting Lorient on the same day.


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