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Monaco hold PSG in battle of big spenders

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-02-10

An own goal by defender Thiago Silvo denied Paris Saint-Germain victory at Monaco’s Louis-II stadium on Sunday, meaning the French league’s two billionaire clubs are still five points apart at the top of the table.

Paris Saint-German were denied victory over their closest Ligue 1 rivals Monaco on Sunday as the two richest clubs in French football played out their second 1-1 draw of the season.

The result left PSG still firm favourites to win a second consecutive title as they remain five points clear of Monaco with 14 games to be played.

Monaco, who were without their injured star Radamel Falcao, deservedly salvaged a point after PSG's captain Silva stretched and inadvertently turned a Fabinho cross into his goal in the 74th minute.

While Monaco were left to rue their many missed chances to win the game, PSG will be the most disappointed as they had held the lead since the eighth minute through a headed goal by Javier Pastore.

"It was a good game with lots of chances," reflected Monaco manager Claudio Ranieri.

"I hope PSG will win the Champions League for French football, and leave a few points for Monaco...."

Monaco responded swiftly to Pastor’s opener and they should have been level just six minutes later, but Emmanuel Riviere squandered a great chance pushing a rebound from Sirigu wide with the goal at his mercy.

But the title holders had their chances to double their lead in the first half.

Ibrahimovic misfires

Ibrahimovic, of all people, squandered a fine opportunity from just five yards out after good play on the left flank between Pastore and Maxwell.

PSG again came closest to scoring in the second half when Ibrahimovic fired in a fierce free-kick from the edge of the area which Monaco's Croatian keeper Danijel Subasic did well to turn wide in the 55th minute.

After Monaco’s slightly fortunate equalizer, both sides had a chance to secure victory in the final minutes.

First Fabinho was denied in the 89th minute from giving Monaco - who brought on former Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov for his debut in the 64th minute - victory after his thunderous shot was well-saved by PSG's Sirigu.

Then just moments later, Monaco's Subasic stretched to save an Ibrahimovic shot.

Meanwhile, the chasing pack behind the top two teams mostly had a good weekend.

Lille, Marseille, Lyon and Reims all won, with St Etienne the only side in the top seven not to get three points following a disappointing 0-0 at mid-table Toulouse.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
 

Date created : 2014-02-10

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