PSG fails to secure top spot after 2-2 draw with Ludogorets
Mistakes cost Paris Saint-Germain dearly as it missed out on top spot in Group A following a 2-2 home draw with Ludogorets in the Champions League yesterday.
PSG needed a home win to guarantee first place and faced an unheralded Bulgarian side that had not won any of the previous five group games. Instead, the draw meant PSG qualifies in second - two points behind Arsenal, which won 4-1 away to Swiss side Basel. Dutch forward Virgil Misidjan scored in the 15th minute and Brazilian forward Wanderson made it 2-1 in the 68th, shortly after Edinson Cavani had leveled for PSG. Winger Angel Di Maria saved face for PSG in the second minute of injury time with a scuffed shot, and Cavani was desperately close to grabbing the winner in the dying seconds.
That would have been harsh on Ludogorets. PSG’s shortcomings at the back are still glaringly evident for a team hoping to be among the contenders to win Europe’s biggest club trophy.
Following a mistake by midfielder Thiago Motta, Misidjan headed the Bulgarian league leaders ahead and PSG’s players were jeered off the field at halftime. Cavani grabbed the equalizer in the 61st with an overhead kick from close range after Ludogorets had failed to clear Di Maria’s cross from the right. It was Cavani’s sixth goal of the campaign so far and the Uruguay striker appears full of confidence.
The defense is not, having leaked goals in a 3-0 loss away to Montpellier in the French league last weekend.
Brazil defender Marquinhos clumsily lost possession when receiving a throw-in. He turned his back on play, allowing Brazilian forward Jonathan Cafu to steal the ball off him and burst down the left, before pulling it back to countryman Wanderson to finish with a low drive under the body of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. PSG beat Basel 3-0 in its previous home game but it was far more difficult than the result suggested, with Basel missing several chances. This time, Ludogorets punished PSG’s mistakes to secure third place and a spot in the Europa League. — AP