Paris (AFP) – A second-half brace from Edinson Cavani saw champions Paris Saint Germain come from two down to earn a 2-2 draw with Ligue 1 leaders Nice at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
The visitors withstood an early onslaught to go into the break 2-0 up after a sumptuous free-kick from Wylan Cyprien on 32 minutes and a slick left-foot shot from Alassane Plea right on the break.
The result puts Nice on 40 points from 17 games, one clear of second placed Monaco, who beat Bordeaux 4-0 on Saturday and four clear of under-pressure Unai Emery’s champions.
Nice coach Lucien Favre looked relieved with the point after Cavani had finished from close range on 46 minutes and then on the hour mark before the champions ripped into the Ligue 1 leaders all the way to the final whistle.
The Uruguayan striker even had a late effort ruled offside and missed two more good chances as Nice ‘keeper Yoan Cardinale produced seven saves, the last a brilliant stop on the line from a Layvin Kurzawa header in stoppage time.
The opening goal came when Cyprien whipped a ferocious free-kick round the PSG wall into the top right hand corner against the run of play.
And then, just before the break, Plea beat both Thiago Silva and Marquinhos at the edge of the PSG area to dispatch a deft left-foot shot that saw the home side booed off at the break.
In the second half, Paris concentrated on the flanks and the two Cavani goals came from wide crosses from Serge Aurier and Kurzawa.
Mario Balotelli came on as a late substitute and quickly produced a snap shot that PSG keeper Alphons Areola saved well. Hatem Ben Arfa, who switched to PSG from Nice in the summer, also made a late cameo.
On Saturday, second-placed Monaco impressed as Radamel Falcao netted a hat-trick in the 4-0 crushing of 10-man Bordeaux.
Earlier Sunday a goal from Romain Hamouma and a series of saves from Stéphane Ruffier saw Saint-Etienne beat Guingamp 1-0 at home to climb to eighth after qualifying for the Europa League last-32 in midweek.
After a tiring Champions League game with Sevilla in midweek, Lyon held firm for a 1-0 home win over Rennes thanks to a first-half goal from Mathieu Valbuena which sees them sit fourth.
“We’re not playing well but the points are there, two more than at this time last season,” said Lyon coach Bruno Genesio
Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, however, was their man of the match with five notable saves.
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