Reims rescue point in Paris
Reims extended their unbeaten league run to 12 games in the most dramatic fashion with a last-minute equaliser from Folarin Balogun making it 1-1 at Le Parc des Princes.
Paris Saint-Germain were looking to get back to winning ways in Ligue 1 after a rare loss to Stade Rennes last time out put 2nd place RC Lens only two points behind last season’s champions. They had a tough task ahead of them coming up against a Reims side unbeaten in their last 11 league matches. For the first time since the FIFA World Cup, Kylian Mbappé, Neymar, and Lionel Messi started the match for PSG and were showing threatening signs early on, combining to almost give Achraf Hakimi a great chance to score at the back post.
Reims were by no means sitting back and playing for a draw, they attacked throughout the opening exchanges and went close several times, in particular with Balogun and Junya Ito, who both forced Gianluigi Donnarumma into good saves. The best chance of the first half undoubtedly fell to Marshall Munetsi, who did well to leap highest and power a header straight at Donnarumma from close range to keep the scores level at the break.
Clearly unimpressed with what he saw in the first half, Christophe Galtier decided to bring on Marco Verratti at HT, and his calming influence in midfield paid off immediately when Messi deflected effort fell in to the path of Neymar, who rounded Yehvann Diouf to make it 1-0. Reims responded well to conceding a goal for the first time in four matches. Balogun thought he had won a penalty when he was brought down by Marquinhos in the box, and although referee Ruddy Buquet pointed to the spot, it was ruled out for offside. However, Buquet was then advised to show a red card to Verratti by VAR for a late tackle on Ito, ending the Italians night after 15 minutes.
The game sprung to life following the red card, with Sergio Ramos seeing his header crash against the bar from a corner, before Hakimi had the ball in the back of the net only for it to be ruled out for a tight offside. Reims continued to push until the very end and were rewarded when Balogun did brilliantly to go round the onrushing Donnarumma and level the scoreline with the last kick off the game.