Angers holds French league leader PSG to 0-0

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 02, 2015 10:14 AM
Angers holds French league leader PSG to 0-0
Paris Saint Germain's forward Angel Di Maria of Argentina, challenges for the ball with Angers' defender Yoann Andreu during their French League One soccer match, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Angers, western France. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

JEROME PUGMIRE
AP Sports Writer

  
PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain dropped points in the French league for only the third time this season after being held at newly promoted Angers to an entertaining 0-0 draw on Tuesday.

Chasing a fourth straight league title, PSG remains unbeaten in the league with 13 wins and three draws.

Angers had chances to end an unbeaten league run dating to March 15, with 1.92-meter midfielder Cheick N'Doye causing problems in the air for PSG's defense.

Still, the clearest chances fell to PSG, as striker Edinson Cavani hit the post with an early glancing header and fluffed a late chance with only goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle to beat.

Star signing Angel di Maria had a quiet game, although he also hit the post in the first half.

PSG was provisionally 14 points ahead of Caen, which plays at Monaco on Wednesday, and 15 ahead of third-place Angers.

Angers showed why it has the second best defensive record behind PSG — nine goals conceded in 16 games — with a tenacious display against a star-studded team.

"You get a few games like that over a season, where you have to score quickly to win them. We did create chances, but not enough," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. "We came up against an Angers side showing a lot of courage and determination. Its best player was the goalkeeper."

After Cavani hit the post in the sixth minute, Butelle saved right back Aurier's rasping shot, and Di Maria struck the left post with a curling effort after surging past two defenders.

But Angers looked dangerous on counterattacks, wasting a great 3-on-1 chance in the first half.

Midfielder Abdoul Camara robbed defender Maxwell of possession and fed winger Gilles Sunu down the right, but he totally over-hit his pass with two teammates in lots of space.

Then, just before the interval, N'Doye rose at the far post to head a cross back into the penalty area but there was no one to turn it in.

PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi limped off at halftime after taking a knock, and the second half was even.

N'Doye had a towering header pushed away by goalie Kevin Trapp before PSG winger Lucas volleyed wide from midfielder Adrien Rabiot's cross.

Then, Butelle tipped over a header from Angers defender Romain Saiss — preventing an own goal.

Blanc started Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench, with a view to Friday's trip to Nice and next Tuesday's home game against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

When Ibrahimovic went on for the last 20 minutes, PSG looked sharper.

But Cavani shot straight at Butelle from a good position, and Butelle saved low down from Rabiot's strike.

Elsewhere, league top-scorer Benjamin Moukandjo failed to add to his 11 goals as Lorient drew 0-0 at home to Nice.

There were no goals in the other match, either, as Nantes drew 0-0 with fourth-place Lyon, which trails PSG by 16 points.

Lyon coach Hubert Fournier took former Manchester United right back Rafael off after just 30 minutes, but it did little to galvanize his team.

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