Paris (AFP) – Neymar scored from the penalty spot but Paris Saint-Germain’s perfect start to the French campaign was ended in a 1-1 draw with Monaco on Sunday.
The Brazilian rolled in his eighth goal in five matches this season from a penalty awarded when the VAR alerted the on-pitch referee to a foul on Neymar by Monaco defender Guillermo Maripan.
Monaco had taken the lead when Kevin Volland burst forward, holding off Presnel Kimpembe, before firing past Gianluigi Donnarumma 20 minutes into the game at the Parc des Princes.
The principality side played well, yet PSG deserved at least the draw from a game in which they hit the woodwork three times.
Nevertheless, the result does slightly puncture the Parisians’ momentum after a start to the season in which they had won their opening three league games, scoring a staggering 17 goals in the process.
They also beat Nantes 4-0 in the season-opening Champions Trophy but Monaco were easily the most accomplished side they had faced yet, even if Philippe Clement’s team were knocked out of the Champions League in the third qualifying round by PSV Eindhoven.
Christophe Galtier’s PSG have 10 points from four games and are top of the table, but only on goal difference from Marseille and Lens.
Signed from Red Bull Salzburg to replace the Real Madrid-bound Aurelien Tchouameni, Malian international Mohamed Camara impressed in the Monaco midfield and played a part in setting up the opening goal.
He won possession back with a tackle on Lionel Messi in midfield, before Volland collected the ball, played a quick one-two with Aleksandr Golovin and ran through to fire home.
That was Volland’s last involvement as he hurt himself while shooting, and was replaced by youngster Maghnes Akliouche.
The visitors could have doubled their lead from a Caio Henrique free-kick, but Donnarumma flew to his right to save, and they spent most of the remainder of the match pinned back.
PSG were denied an equaliser right on the stroke of half-time in remarkable fashion, as Lionel Messi smashed a long-range shot off the left-hand post, before Kylian Mbappe hit the opposite upright from the rebound.
Monaco were also grateful to goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel for saving from Neymar from point-blank range after the restart, but PSG then got their equaliser with 20 minutes to go.
They then had chances to win all three points, with Achraf Hakimi’s fierce shot hittng the post in the 74th minute, before Nuebel denied Mbappe late on.
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