NEWS
Wednesday October 24 2018
CL: Napoli pegged back by PSG

Napoli will feel very unlucky not to emerge with a victory, as Paris Saint-Germain fought back twice with an own goal and Angel Di Maria stunner.

Liverpool now top the group after a 4-0 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade.

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Lorenzo Insigne recovered to start at Parc des Princes, but Nikola Maksimovic was again chosen for a three-and-a-half-man defence, the same approach used in the 1-0 win over Liverpool. The hosts were behind Napoli in the group, on three points to four, and above all missed Thiago Silva, Dani Alves Layvin Kurzawa and Colin Dagba, with Gigi Buffon suspended.

There was an odd moment in the opening minutes, as Edinson Cavani and Neymar both went for the same ball and collided, the Brazilian needing treatment for a knock to the ankle. Marquinhos was also booked within five minutes for raking his studs down Dries Mertens’ leg.

Kylian Mbappe fired wide of the back post on a corner, while Mertens hit the upright of an open goal from Jose Callejon’s assist and his blushes were saved by the offside flag.

David Ospina used his legs to parry a Cavani angled drive at the near post, but Napoli should’ve taken the lead on 24 minutes when Mertens at full stretch volleyed Mario Rui’s cross on to the bar.

The goal was coming from the Partenopei, who were starting to dominate possession and the initiative. Callejon threaded through for Insigne to sneak round the back of Kimpembe and place a delightful lob over the on-rushing Alphonse Areola.

Mbappe used his pace to run on to a slide-rule pass, but the finish was beaten away by Ospina’s legs, then Insigne fired off target from a very promising position.

Ospina was alert on Thomas Meunier’s header, but Insigne wasn’t 100 per cent fit and went off at the dawn of the second half.

PSG came out fighting and poured forward in waves and Cavani was furious at a penalty appeal, but they equalised with a huge stroke of luck.

Meunier’s cross seemed relatively harmless, until Mario Rui came sliding in to block and accidentally turned it into his own net.

Napoli remained in the game and restored their lead with fortune favouring Mertens this time, as a through ball bounced off Marquinhos’ buttocks and the Belgian just had to toe-poke home.

Ospina flew to tip a Neymar free kick over the bar, but Mertens almost completed his brace when he managed to flick a header and force Areola’s desperate save.

Just as Napoli thought they’d secured a famous victory, Angel Di Maria popped up with a moment of magic deep into stoppages, curling into the far top corner from outside the box.

Paris Saint-Germain 2-2 Napoli

Insigne 28 (N), Mario Rui og 61 (P), Mertens 77 (N), Di Maria 93 (P)

Paris Saint-Germain: Areola; Meunier, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Bernat (Kehrer 46); Rabiot, Verratti (Diaby 83); Mbappé, Di Maria, Neymar; Cavani (Draxler 76)

Napoli: Ospina; Maksimovic, Albiol, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Callejon (Rog 86), Allan, Hamsik, Fabian; Insigne (Zielinski 53), Mertens (Milik 84)

Ref: Zwayer (GER)