Paris Saint-Germain have stayed 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 despite a lacklustre 1-1 draw with Lorient at the Stade du Moustoir, with Sergio Ramos sent off late on.
Lorient came into this game on the back of eight defeats in all competitions and without a win in 12. They looked by far the better side in the first half, however, using a straightforward long-ball strategy to great effect.
Running off the shoulder of Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe, Terem Moffi went clean through several times but was let down by his scattergun finishing. With 15 minutes on the clock he went one-on-one following a simple ball from deep and dropped Keylor Navas to the turf with a clever shimmy, only for his attempted dink to drift too close to the goalkeeper.
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Dango Ouattara and Armand Lauriente also had good opportunities to score, with PSG’s best chance coming out of the blue when Lionel Messi sent a shot ricocheting off the inside of the post on the half-volley. The hosts finally took the lead just before half time when, following a series of short, sharp passes around the box, Thomas Monconduit rocketed a shot into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Had their forwards been more precise in front of goal, Lorient could have been two or three up at the break. They had an excellent chance to make it 2-0 soon after the restart, but Ouattarra got the ball caught under his feet five yards out and allowed Georginio Wijnaldum to get back and make a block.
PSG’s performance was epitomised by Angel Di Maria, who was teed up beautifully by Messi only to hammer a shot over the crossbar with the goal gaping. He missed another presentable chance not long afterwards, slicing an effort into the stands from just outside the box.
A poor night for the visitors was made even worse when Sergio Ramos, on as a second-half substitute, picked up a second yellow card for a cynical block on Moffi. While Mauro Icardi salvaged a point with a header in injury time, it was a disappointing performance from the league leaders even if a draw for second-placed Marseille against Reims allowed them to maintain their lead at the summit.

TALKING POINT

Nightmare cameo for Ramos. Having come on for Nuno Mendes at half time, Ramos lasted 39 minutes before he was given his marching orders. A needless yellow card for a tussle at a corner was followed by another blatant foul on Moffi, leaving referee Jeremie Pignard with little choice.
While Ramos’ legend is built on a pile of yellow and red cards so high that it practically blocks out the sun, this felt more like a sign of rustiness than anything. This was only his third appearance for PSG owing to an ordeal with injuries and, where he’s usually the master of disguising a mischevious foul, this time his guile failed him.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Lionel Messi (PSG). He may have gone another game without a goal, but Messi was PSG’s only standout performer on the night. He was centimetres away from scoring when he rattled the post and, after that, he created three or four big chances for his teammates only to see them squandered.
While Lauriente and Monconduit had their moments for Lorient, with the latter’s goal the individual highlight of the match, nobody was as consistently excellent as Messi. His dribbling, close control and movement were as good as ever and, while he hasn’t been as prolific as usual this season, there were signs here that he is still capable of producing his otherworldly best.

PLAYER RATINGS

Lorient: Nardi 7, Mendes 6, Laporte 7, Jens 7, Le Goff 7, Ouattara 5, Monconduit 7, Abergel 6, Le Fee 7, Moffi 6, Lauriente 7
Subs: Carioca 6
PSG: Navas 8, Hakimi 7, Marquinhos 5, Kimpembe 5, Mendes 5, Herrera 5, Gueye 5, Di Maria 4, Wijnaldum 6, Messi 8, Icardi 6
Subs: Ramos 2, Yansane 5

KEY MOMENTS

41’ GOAL! That is absolutely lovely from Monconduit, who smashes an unstoppable shot into the top corner to finally give Lorient the lead. The hosts fully deserve it. PSG look shellshocked.
56’ TERRIBLE MISS! Messi turns creator once again, shimmying through on the right before picking out the onrushing Di Maria. With the goal at his mercy, he somehow contrives to thunder his shot over the crossbar.
84’ RED CARD! Ramos is sent off after a blatant block on Moffi. It was a cynical foul and merited a second yellow.
90+1’ GOAL! It’s heartbreak for Lorient, with PSG equalising through Icardi in injury time. The former Inter Milan forward rises highest to head home, salvaging a point for the league leaders.

KEY STATS

  • PSG faced 11 shots in the first half, equalling their highest tallies of the season against Lens and Clermont
  • Ramos now has as many red cards as Ligue 1 starts for PSG
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