Spectacular but cruel

Equipe première


Set up in a 4-4-2 for their first game of 2020, the Parisians came up against a Monaco side clearly determined to make their lives difficult. Still, Neymar Jr - teed up perfectly by Marco Verratti - gave them the perfect start by whipping a crisp shot beyond Benjamin Lecomte (1-0, 3'). The visitors didn't take long to respond though - just four minutes late, Cesc Fabregas chipped a ball over the top for Wissam Ben Yedder, and though he was denied by Keylor Navas, the ball broke for Gelson Martins to level from close range (1-1, 7').


Ben Yedder was involved again as Monaco went in front a few minutes later, finishing off a cross from Keita Baldé (1-2, 13'). The Parisians sought an immediate response: Neymar Jr's free-kick (15') and a Kylian Mbappé shot into the side-netting (20') both threatened to provide one, though Navas was also required to thwart Baldé (20'). In the end, it was Monaco defender Fodé Ballo-Touré who put through his own goal as a Neymar Jr shot ricocheted off him (2-2, 24').


There were chances at both ends: Kamil Glik found a post (31') and Aleksandr Golovin stretched Navas (36') before Mbappé's pace led to him being brought down in the box and Neymar Jr sent Lecomte the wrong way from the penalty spot (3-2, 42'). Mbappé (45+1') might even have added to the lead, while Golovin might also have cancelled it out (45+2') in a frenzied finish to the half.

The interval did nothing to change the complexion of the game. Tiémoué Bakayoko sent a long-range shot wide (47'), and it took a superb save from Lecomte to prevent Neymar Jr extending the hosts' lead (54').


Instead, the principality outfit levelled through Islam Slimani, a goal initially ruled out for offside only for VAR to overrule (3-3, 71').

There might still have been a winner. Marquinhos latched onto a Neymar Jr free-kick (84'), Bakayoko had a shot blocked (86') and Slimani a header saved (88') before Mbappé had one final chance to snatch all three points (90+5'). But after a breathtaking tally of 29 shots, the scores finished level.


The duo won't have long to catch their breath as they meet again in the Stade Louis II on Wednesday for their rearranged Week 15 fixture.