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Club Friendlies

  • July 22, 2012
  • • 23:00
  • • Yankee Stadium, New York City

Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Chelsea: Supersub Piazon cancels out Nene strike as Europe's big spenders share spoils

Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Chelsea: Supersub Piazon cancels out Nene strike as Europe's big spenders share spoils

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The young Brazilian's 81st-minute strike rescued the European champions from a defeat they began to look condemned to after his countryman's first-half opener

Lucas Piazon spared Chelsea a first defeat on their US tour with a late equaliser against Paris Saint-Germain at Yankee Stadium.

The promising Brazilian midfielder netted on 81 minutes to cancel out Nene's first-half opener as Roberto Di Matteo's men finished strongly after a largely uninspiring performance.

For PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti the late setback marred an otherwise impressive performance from his new team against his former club - one which promises much for the coming Ligue 1 season after a sensational summer of spending in the transfer market.

Eden Hazard kept his place in the Blues starting lineup after a virtuoso debut display against the Seattle Sounders, while youngsters Sam Hutchinson, Kevin De Bruyne, Gael Kakuta and Romelu Lukaku were also given the opportunity to impress.

PSG boss Ancelotti was unable to call upon either Zlatan Ibrahimovic – set to join up with his new team-mates on Tuesday – or Thiago Silva – away with Brazil’s Olympic football squad – but nevertheless fielded a strong XI which boasted another big-money summer signing, former Napoli star Ezequiel Lavezzi.

And the tricky Argentine spurned a glorious chance to open the scoring in the third minute, ghosting between the statuesque duo of Hutchinson and Cahill before firing tamely against the legs of the sprawling Petr Cech from point-blank range.

Just five minutes later he was in the thick of the action again, racing beyond the Chelsea backline and touching the ball past the onrushing Cech before going to ground, only to be booked for diving.

Di Matteo’s experimental side looked sluggish and disjointed, but Hazard briefly worried the PSG defence on 15 minutes when he jinked inside from the left wing to unleash a fierce 25-yard drive which Nicolas Douchez comfortably watched wide.

Much of PSG’s early success had come against the youthful pairing of Hutchinson and Kakuta on Chelsea’s right flank, so it was no surprise when, on, 30 minutes, it yielded the opening goal.

A neat and incisive midfield interchange sent Javier Pastore cantering into the area and, after bamboozling both Kakuta and Cahill, his shot crashed against the post, only for Nene to follow up and slot the ball home, despite the best efforts of David Luiz on the line.

The Chelsea response was slow and underwhelming, with captain Frank Lampard’s speculative 35-yard free-kick four minutes from half-time yielding their first shot on target. Douchez gathered it easily, and PSG deservedly carried their lead into the break.

Both sides made numerous changes of personnel at the interval, but it was the Blues who showed greater improvement in the second half, as the introduction of Ramires and Marko Marin on the flanks injected some much-needed urgency both in and out of possession.

Despite this, however, Di Matteo’s men still struggled to create anything of substance when faced with organised and disciplined PSG defending. Hazard’s mishit corner on 57 minutes somehow found its way through to Branislav Ivanovic, who sliced wide.

A further raft of Chelsea changes followed on the hour mark in a bid to reverse their fortunes, including the introduction of John Terry, making his first appearance of pre-season, as well as youngsters Piazon, Nathanial Chalobah and Josh McEachran.

But it was PSG who continued to show greater incisiveness, and substitute Guillaume Hoarau wasted a guilt-edged opportunity to double their lead when he latched onto a pinpoint lofted pass from Pastore and headed wide from a unmarked position.

Pastore himself then threatened to pile on the humiliation by trying to beat replacement goalkeeper Ross Turnbull from halfway with a lofted effort which sailed well over.

Chelsea looked condemned to defeat, but they finally broke through nine minutes from time when Piazon exchanged passes with countryman Ramires while driving into the penalty area before side-footing the ball past a helpless Alphonse Areola to secure his side a share of the spoils.