French league: Cavani scores 2 as PSG avoids 1st home defeat
PARIS (AP) — Edinson Cavani rescued a lackluster Paris Saint-Germain team from its first home defeat with both goals in a 2-2 home draw with Guingamp on Sunday.
French champion PSG had won its previous 17 league games at Parc des Princes this season, but fell behind on the stroke of halftime and trailed 2-0 midway through the second half.
Cavani pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 75th minute after a foul on midfielder Giovani Lo Celso — which appeared outside the penalty area — and then equalized with a sharp diving header in the 83rd. He is once again the league’s top scorer, with 27 goals.
“These games are important to show us that we need to concentrate over a whole season,” Cavani said on Canal Plus television. “It shows what happens when your intensity drops a level. The league’s already won and sometimes we’re trying to find that concentration.”
Guingamp coach Antoine Kombouare won at home against his former club last season, and came close to beating PSG again at the stadium where he made his name as a robust center half in the 1990s.
His side was the better team in the first half against a sloppy PSG.
After having a shot saved on the line and hitting the post, Guingamp took the lead just before the break. A corner was poorly cleared by Cavani and midfielder Ludovic Blas blasted the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area.
After PSG forward Kylian Mbappe had a goal ruled out for offside, veteran forward Jimmy Briand made it 2-0.
It was PSG coach Unai Emery’s penultimate home game in charge before he leaves at the end of the season.
Marseille lost ground in the chase for second place and an automatic spot in the Champions League after a 1-1 draw at Angers.
Florian Thauvin’s 20th league goal of the season wasn’t enough for Marseille, which failed to build on his third-minute penalty and conceded late in the second half.
Angers went close to equalizing several times, with Marseille goalkeeper Yohann Pele making a fine stop to keep out a fierce drive from midfielder Prince Oniangue. The pressure finally paid off when defender Ismael Traore scored with a powerful downward header from a corner in the 79th minute.
The draw leaves Marseille in fourth place with three games left, one point behind Monaco and two behind Lyon in second place.
“We should count ourselves lucky to get a draw,” Thauvin said.
Thauvin has scored 23 goals overall in an outstanding season and is one of four nominees for the French league Player of the Year award. Goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle guessed correctly on his penalty, diving to his left, but the shot had enough power on it.
Thauvin was taken off 30 minutes from time, with Thursday’s Europa League semifinal return leg at Salzburg in mind. Marseille won the first leg 2-0, with Thauvin scoring and attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet setting up both goals.
RENNES EYES EUROPE
Rennes is one point behind fifth-place Saint-Etienne in the race for a Europa League spot after beating struggling Toulouse 2-1 at home.
Toulouse, which is 17th, took an early lead thanks to an own-goal from defender Joris Gnagnon.
James Lea Siliki equalized and fellow midfielder Benjamin Bourigeaud gave Rennes the lead shortly after halftime.
Rennes played the last 20 minutes with 10 men after Lea Siliki was sent off.
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