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PSG v Nice Live Commentary, 02/12/21

0 - 0
Parc des Princes


Further Ligue 1 action awaits both this weekend of course - Nice face Strasbourg and PSG will play Lens. Until then however, thank you for joining us - and have a good weekend!
Mauricio Pochettino might be top of the table - but it's becoming increasingly foggy on the future he has in the capital. For all of their individual talent - some more than most - PSG failed to convert a single chance. Lionel Messi looks sanguine about it; Kylian Mbappe looks stone-faced.
Christophe Galtier doesn't look like a man who is particularly pleased, but he'll be doing cartwheels of a sort inside. Four shots against 22 for the hosts, less than 30 per cent of possession overall - and he's come away with a point against the league leaders. That will do nicely.
It's goalless at Parc des Princes as the final whistle goes and the spoils are shared - but one side will feel happier with that than the other. PSG fail to break down Nice and have to settle for a point; the visitors hold stubbornly on to avoid defeat. Full-time in Ligue 1, it finishes Paris Saint-Germain 0-0 Nice.
90' + 2' Mbappe flashes the ball over, Icardi lunges and misses - and that could be the last-chance saloon.
90' Messi delivers - and the ball is headed out for a corner. The Argentine delivers again, but once more, there is no joy. Three added minutes are incoming.
M. Bard
Yellow Card
88' Bard will take a late yellow here, shutting down one PSG chance - but presenting them with the silver platter of a free-kick just outside the box.
86' Nice flash a chip over Donnarumma and the crossbar. Time running out for a winner at either end - it truly is the moment for heroes.
84' Messi doesn't blow many like that and he knows it. The Argentine looks for a lofted finish now and instead pies it into the sky. He's mad at himself for that one.
82' PSG have not lost any of their last 10 Ligue 1 home games against Nice (W7 D3), their last such defeat came on 7 November 2009 (0-1).
A. Gouiri
H. Boudaoui
80' Amine Gouiri replaces Hichem Boudaoui in Nice's third change of the game.
L. Paredes
P. Kimpembe
77' Leandro Paredes replaces Presnel Kimpembe in PSG's third change of the night.
M. Icardi
Á. Di María
77' Mauro Icardi replaces Angel Di Maria in PSG's second change of the night.
H. Boudaoui
Yellow Card
76' Yellow Card Hichem Boudaoui
76' Di Maria! He sights from distance and flashes it beyond the right post. Mauricio Pochettino continues to look like a man who is less than tickled on the sidelines.
75' End-to-end stuff! PSG smash the ball around the opposition box and feel they should have a free-kick for a prone player, but Nice instead counter and tear down the other end, with Delort's chip safely taken by Donnarumma.
K. Thuram-Ulien
M. Lemina
74' Khephren Thuram-Ulien replaces Mario Lemina in Nice's second change of the night.
C. Stengs
J. Kluivert
74' Calvin Stengs replaces Justin Kluivert in Nice's first change of the night.
72' Offsides at both ends now. Nice know there's something to steal here. 
70' Mbappe sees a shot blocked. Rinse and repeat for PSG and their frustrations.
68' Nice have conceded at least one goal in each of their last 17 Ligue 1 games against PSG (40 goals conceded in total), last keeping a clean sheet against this them in the top-flight on 12 February 2012 (0-0 at Stade du Ray).
J. Kluivert
Yellow Card
66' Justin Kluivert brings down Hakimi and he'll be handed a yellow card for that one.
64' Mbappe! Oh, he won't have many better than that. A deflected first move allows Messi to slip it back forward for the Frenchman, unmarked in space on the left - and he blows it, lofting well to the right.
M. Verratti
E. Ebimbe
62' Marco Verratti replaces Eric Ebimbe in PSG's first change of the game.
60' The offside flag is floated as PSG move again. Mauricio Pochettino strides to the front of his technical area. He has work to do here in converting these final third opportunities.
59' Off the post from Dolberg! Down the other end, the Nice counter does the job to remind the hosts that as long as this game remains level, it is there for the taking.
57' Now Mbappe edges close to the right. There are going to be plenty of more of those before the night is over.
55' Idrissa Gueye is the latest to stick an effort off-target, firing wide to the right. PSG are pushing - but there is a looming sense they need something special to unlock their visitors for good.
53' Mbappe goes down in the Nice box, rolling and clutching his face - but the referee isn't buying his claims for a penalty and awards a corner that is simply dealt with.
51' Di Maria! And then PSG follow up with a shot across the face of goal from the left. It's two attempts and two blocks from Benitez, who is doing a fine effort to keep Nice in this one.
50' Angel Di Maria has been directly involved in eight goals against Nice in Ligue 1 (4 goals, 4 assists), only against Nantes (10 - 4 goals, 6 assists) does he have more goal involvements in the top-flight..
48' Nice are continuing to scramble around in defence. There is an urgency to them - but quite how much they can do here is another matter when trapped on the back front.
46' We are back underway at Parc des Princes. There have been no changes at the break - but it's hard to picture that we won't be waiting long for one. 
How much are PSG missing Neymar today? It's hard to say. Lionel Messi is pushing hard, Kylian Mbappe is finding some purchase. But the Brazilian, so often maligned, would give them the extra edge.
Lionel Messi is the driving force once more, but PSG's early pressure has not delivered the finishes yet in Ligue 1 as they square off with fellow top four rivals Nice. But there's more to come, of that you can be sure; half-time, it is Paris Saint-Germain 0-0 Nice.
43' Hakimi gets in on the action - and his finish is wildly all over the place, back into the stands behind.
41' Now it is Mbappe's turn to see a shot blocked, the French star determined not to be outdone. PSG are really throwing the kitchen sink forward now.
39' Messi puts on the afterburners down the right and sees his shot deflected. When the veteran gets it, he comes alive at the front.
37' Only Bayern Munich (42) and Liverpool (39) have scored more goals than Paris (35) in Europe's top 5 leagues this season.
35' Messi lets rip again - and once more, Benitez is up to the task, going low to make the save on the Argentine's ranged effort. The forward still looks like he's moving up the gears, which is no small feat.
33' Stop by Donnarumma! That's why he's just been named the best shotstopper in the world - though some may argue. Either way, he makes a cracking defensive hit and keeps Delort's header away from the back of the net.
Danilo Pereira
Yellow Card
31' Danilo Pereira is going to pick up the first booking of the game, after he brings down Lemina now.
29' Dolberg and Marquinhos come together for the ball, and it is the former who wins a free-kick. The PSG captain is less than impressed.
28' Mbappe tries his luck, assisted by Messi, but Benitez proves more than up to the task of making a simple save.
26' For all the power they've punched so far, there hasn't been quite enough shots at the top for PSG. They could definitely do with a little more panache.
24' The lines are cleared - if a little nervously - and PSG break back towards the middle of the field.
23' Nice snap up another corner now. What opportunities could present themselves from here...
21' It is as predicted - PSG's early, near-overwhelming pressure has not yielded and the visitors are starting to grow in confidence. This could become nicely poised by the break.
19' PSG have lost only one of their last 16 Ligue 1 games against Nice (W13 D2), it was on 30 April 2017 in Nice (1-3).
17' A chance for the visitors! Nice pick up a corner and Dolberg goes close to scoring against the run of play, tucking a tough header too high to trouble Donnarumma in the end.
15' This is better from Nice - not so much in that they have mounted an attack but that they have forced PSG back into their own half. It's something they'll need to do more often to get a foothold in this game.
13' The free-kick is swung low, meets traffic and a second shot from the scramble hits the post - but Nice will be let off the hook anyway for an offside call.
11' Messi almost gets cleaned out on the edge of the opposition box. PSG will take that dangerous free-kick with little complaint, though Nice are not happy about it.
10' This is the sort of dominant performance on the ball PSG have been looking for in several big games this year. They are crushing it so far, though it must be stressed, this is early days. The longer they go without a goal, the more confidence Nice will gain.
8' Ebimbe gets a messy cut-back and blazes somewhere into the stands behind. He won't be in a hurry to see that one back on his highlight reel.
7' It has been overwhelmingly one-way traffic with ball so far for PSG, particularly down the wings. Nice are looking jittery, even when they go on the counter.
5' Lionel Messi would surely love to cap his latest personal triumph with an increasingly rare goal for the hosts tonight - but his first serious crack of the game is blocked. Plenty more in his locker, you'd assume.
3' The beauty of buying up some of the best attacking talent in the world over the years means that even with Neymar out, PSG are not short of a proven goalscorer or three this evening. Will they make it count up front though?
1' We are underway in this Ligue 1 clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Nice!
The teams have emerged on a cold evening at Parc des Princes and we are moments away from kick-off.
Nice have won nine Ligue 1 away games in 2021 (D2 L8), their highest tally away from home in a calendar year in the competition.
Nice have lost two of their last three Ligue 1 games (W1), as many as in their previous 13 (W8 D3).
Subs: Kephren Thuram, Lucas Da Cunha, Hassane Kamara, Amine Gouiri, Marcin Bulka, Alexis Claude Maurice, Flavius Daniliuc, Youcef Atal, Calvin Stengs.
NICE (4-4-2): Walter Benitez; Jordan Lotomba, Jean-Clair Todibo, Dante, Melvin Bard; Hichem Boudaoui, Mario Lemina, Morgan Schneiderlin, Justin Kluivert; Andy Delort, Kasper Dolberg.
Subs: Marco Verratti, Keylor Navas, Rafinha, Abdou Diallo, Mauro Icardi, Thilo Kehrer, Colin Dagba, Edouard Michut, Leandro Paredes.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (4-3-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos, Presnel Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes; Eric Ebimbe, Danilo Pereira, Idrissa Gueye; Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria.
Calvin Stengs meanwhile drops out of the Nice side that lost to Metz at the weekend, with Hichem Boudaoui filling his spot on the right flank of midfield. Morgan Schneiderlin also gets a bump up from the bench to start.
While Messi makes the cut, there is no Neymar after his injury against Saint-Etienne for Mauricio Pochettino's side, meaning the Argentine now fills into a front three with Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria, while Sergio Ramos drops out entirely.
14 points behind them in third-place, their visitors - led by the reigning Ligue 1 coaching champ himself Christophe Galtier - will know that a victory is perfectly possible. Their hosts haven't always convinced, even in victory - and Nice know they can present them with one of their sternest tests yet.
It's been a topsy-turvy week for the hosts - their star man was handed a record seventh Ballon d'Or and was then looked to have been ruled out of this evening's game with a stomach bug. But Lionel Messi has battled back from illness - and he'll be out to celebrate his latest award from the front today.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the 2021-22 Ligue 1 season, as Paris Saint-Germain look to extend their lead at the summit with the visit of Nice to Parc des Princes.