French league leader PSG draws again as Kylian Mbappe is left on the bench once more

Sun, Mar 10, 2024
Soccer News (AP)

French league leader PSG draws again as Kylian Mbappe is left on the bench once more

PARIS (AP) - French league leader Paris Saint-Germain drew 2-2 at home to Reims on Sunday as Kylian Mbappe was left on the bench for the second straight league game.

It was defending champion PSG's third straight league draw and the attack looked tame without him. Mbappe came on in the 73rd minute with the score 2-2, but could not add to his league-leading 21 goals.

He curled a shot just wide soon after, missed the ball attempting a bicycle kick and looked frustrated after shooting straight at the goalkeeper from 20 meters out. PSG is 10 points clear of second-place Brest with nine games remaining.

Mbappe scored both goals on Tuesday as PSG beat Real Sociedad 2-1 to reach the Champions League quarterfinals. But coach Luis Enrique is rotating his players to prepare for next season without Mbappe, who is leaving this summer.

Enrique said he is not taking it easy because of PSG's lead.

"The earlier we win the league, the better," the Spaniard said. "We must win games."

Reims took the lead after seven minutes following a defensive blunder from right back Achraf Hakimi, who lost the ball in the penalty area allowing midfielder Marshall Munetsi to score.

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"We started well and then we gave them a gift," Enrique said. "There are still things we need to improve."

PSG equalized 10 minutes later when Reims captain Yunis Abdelhamid tried to defend a corner and deflected the ball into this own net. Last week, Abdelhamid's careless back pass allowed Lille striker Jonathan David to score.

Goncalo Ramos started in attack and put PSG 2-1 up in the 19th minute after Reims failed to clear a cross and the ball fell kindly to him. The visitors pulled level just before the break when Emmanuel Agbadou's pass found striker Oumar Diakite, whose shot beat goalkeeper Keylor Navas and went in off the post.

OTHER MATCHES

Third-place Monaco moved one point behind Brest after midfielder Eliesse Ben Seghir came off the bench to score a 72nd-minute winner in a 1-0 victory at Strasbourg.

Le Havre won 1-0 at home to Toulouse and struggling Metz beat last-place Clermont 1-0 thanks to Georgia forward Georges Mikautadze's first-half penalty.

Later Sunday, it's Lille vs. Rennes, and resurgent Marseille faced Nantes having scored 16 goals in four games since coach Jean-Louis Gasset took charge.

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