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PSG v Saint-Étienne Live Commentary, 09/09/2016

1 - 1
Lucas Moura (67 pen)
R. Berič (90+2)
Parc des Princes


FULL-TIME! Boos ring out in the French capital, as PSG fall to a late 1-1 draw with Saint-Etienne. A penalty from Lucas appeared to have sealed three points for the reigning Ligue 1 champions, but a stoppage-time strike from Beric ensured that Emery's men would lose more ground in the league. That's all that we have time for, we hope to see you again next time.
K. Malcuit
Malcuit overlaps down the right and whips in a brilliant cross.
R. Berič
GOOOOOOAL! BERIC NETS THE EQUALISER Di Maria clips a delicate pass into the penalty area for Cavani to challenge for, but the Uruguay international is penalised for backing into Theophile-Catherine. Saint-Etienne break up the other end, with Beric eventually able to bundle home a back-post finish after a cross in from the right by Malcuit! Parc des Princes is stunned.
We're into the second of four stoppage-time minutes.
After giving away a penalty in the second half, Malcuit becomes a hero, throwing himself forward to make a vital goal-line block to deny Marquinhos, before powering yet another PSG cross away with his head.
Lucas shoots from range, but sees his attempt deflected well wide of Ruffier's net, earning PSG a late corner. Moments later, Cavani is picked out by Di Maria from the left flank, but the ex-Napoli striker also sees an attempt flicked beyond the target by a defender.
Meunier guides a cross into the penalty area in search of Cavani's head, but Perrin backpedals in order to win an important aerial challenge. PSG are still posing questions offensively, but are very much focused on tracking back, working hard and keeping this clean sheet.
Good stop from Ruffier! The French goalkeeper is forced to dive to his left to deny a Di Maria free-kick, before a second delivery into the Saint-Etienne penalty area sees Cavani angle an ambitious over-head kick effort well wide of the back post.
Di Maria breaks into the penalty area with a couple of neat step-overs, but the ex-Real Madrid forward is brought back for an offside call. PSG are continuing to be patient in possession and look to be cruising to a hard-fought but professional result.
Perrin makes an important defensive header at his near post to deny a cross in from Matuidi, as PSG continue to put pressure on despite holding the lead. Saint-Etienne look to break, but the hosts are quickly back in their shape to frustrate their opponents.
Hamouma manages to waste the aforementioned free-kick with a terrible delivery that loops straight out of play for a goal-kick. PSG break, with Meunier overlapping down the right flank, but Pogba covers across to deflect the Belgian's cross out for a corner.
R. Berič
J. Veretout
Beric is introduced for the last 10 minutes or so in place of Veretout.
Saint-Etienne work their way down the right-hand side, as Roux and Malcuit combine, but an eventual cross from the former is headed away by Thiago Motta. Moments later, the away side manage to earn themselves a free-kick due to a blatant handball from Di Maria.
A rash touch from Krychowiak allows Saint-Etienne the chance to counter, but instead the visitors panic in possession and fail to capitalise on the substitute's mistake. Roux is looking isolated up top, with Marquinhos able to easily compete with the visiting target man.
The home side release Kimpembe down the left-hand side, with the youngster doing well to muscle Malcuit off the ball. He feeds Di Maria, who tries to shoot from a tight angle, but Theophile-Catherine makes a timely block to clear.
PSG are sat a little deeper now, inviting pressure onto themselves in order to provide more space to exploit on the break. Saint-Etienne race down the left, but a cross from Lacroix can't be kept in play by Lemoine on the far side.
R. Hamouma
H. Saivet
Saivet is replaced for the final 20 minutes, with Hamouma coming into the fray.
G. Krychowiak
Yellow Card
The referee gets out his book once again, this time to reprimand Krychowiak, who leaves an opponent sprawled on the turf after a physical challenge.
Saivet tries to open play out to the left-hand side for Saint-Etienne, but his pass swirls in the wind and ends up too close to Meunier. PSG are in the perfect situation now, holding the lead, as Emery's system looks for pacey counter-attacks.
F. Pogba
Yellow Card
Pogba picks up a yellow card for a cynical tug on Lucas' shirt, as PSG look to be wrestling control completely away from the visitors.
E. Cavani
H. Ben Arfa
Cavani is introduced to lead the line, with Ben Arfa taken off. The ex-Nice winger hasn't given a good account of himself once again.
Lucas Moura
Penalty Goal
GOOOOOOOAL! LUCAS CONVERTS FROM THE SPOT! The Brazilian forward steps up confidently and slots a low finish into the bottom-left corner, sending Ruffier the wrong way! There is the lead that PSG have been desperately looking for.
K. Malcuit
Yellow Card
Yellow card Kevin Malcuit
PENALTY TO PSG! The referee has pointed to the spot and penalises Malcuit for a push on Matuidi, with the French defender lucky for that to have been only the first spot-kick that he has given away today.
Close for Di Maria! Verratti lifts a dangerous through-ball over the top for the Argentine substitute, who takes the pass down beautifully and tries one of his signature clipped finishes over Ruffier. This time, however, it doesn't come off, with the Saint-Etienne goalkeeper making a simple catch.
Wide from Lucas! The ex-Sao Paulo wide man is picked out by a near-post free-kick delivery from Di Maria, but can only guide a powerful header the wrong side of the upright. That is the biggest chance of the second half by some margin.
L. Lacroix
C. M'Bengue
Lacroix comes into the action for Saint-Etienne in place of the injured M'Bengue.
Kimpembe and Di Maria break down the left flank, with the latter doing well to earn himself a free-kick. M'Bengue, meanwhile, is hobbling his way around the outside of the pitch to make his way down the tunnel. It appears that his evening is over.
M'Bengue goes down heavily after doing well to block a powerful cross from Meunier, with the Saint-Etienne wing-back appearing to have hurt his ankle while defending his penalty area. The referee is warning the visiting defender that he has already stopped the clock.
Á. Di María
Di Maria replaces Jese for the final half an hour or so, with the Spaniard not looking to be too happy with his performance.
PSG break down the right-hand side, before shifting possession back to Ben Arfa. The frustrated Frenchman looks to shoot from 30 yards out, but fires a low drive horrendously wide of the target. Patience is running out at Parc des Princes.
H. Saivet
Yellow Card
Saivet gets a booking for a late tackle on Krychowiak, as the ex-Newcastle midfielder dived in on the blind side of the Poland international.
A long, raking pass from Saint-Etienne's midfield looks for a run from Roux, but Trapp is quick to come out and gather up the ball. PSG respond with Ben Arfa trying to lift a through-ball over the top for Jese to chase, but the Spaniard is impeded.
Thiago Motta fizzes a low pass into the feet of Jese, who promptly passes straight out of play under no pressure. PSG are really struggling to play with any confidence in their front three today, which could see Emery ring the changes shortly.
Pogba gives away a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area for a body check, which enables PSG to shoot from 20 yards out. Ben Arfa takes, but lifts an awful effort both high and well wide of the top right-hand corner of Ruffier's net.
Malcuit bends an early cross in from the right, which looks to catch Trapp out of position, but the German goalkeeper has plenty of time to react and then gather. PSG respond with a long ball that searches for Jese, but a stray touch from the ex-Real Madrid man costs him dearly. Moments later, Ben Arfa has a shot charged down.
Kurzawa has been taken off with a hamstring problem, leading to a re-shuffle at the back for PSG. Thiago Motta has dropped into centre-back alongside Marquinhos, with Krychowiak injected into the midfield. Kimpembe has slotted in at left-back.
G. Krychowiak
L. Kurzawa
Kurzawa departs at the break, after playing two games for France during the international break, with Krychowiak introduced by Emery.
We are underway in the second half in the French capital. PSG are firing blanks at the moment, but will be hoping to take their late momentum from the first half into this next stage of proceedings.
HALF-TIME! Both teams go in goalless at the break, with a few clear-cut chances not converted at Parc des Princes. Saivet was denied first by Trapp, before chances for Matuidi and Ben Arfa were thwarted up the other end. Plenty of time left for a breakthrough.
There is one minute of stoppage time. Jese threatens to get beyond the Saint-Etienne back three, due to a loose header from Perrin, but Ruffier is off his line in a flash to mop up.
PSG are running out of ideas when they approach the visitors' penalty area, but Lucas takes the responsibility on himself. The Brazilian breaks down the left and releases Kurzawa, who then finds Matuidi breaking in behind, but a cross from the Frenchman is headed clear by Perrin. Pressure from Emery's men is building!
Matuidi is picked out by a curling delivery in towards the back post, but is unable to turn the ball goalwards. Malcuit appears to kick the Frenchman straight in the shin, upending him, but the referee doesn't point to the spot. Both players go down for treatment.
PSG continue to move the ball around as we approach the half-time interval, but Emery's forward line is lacking the presence or physicality that Cavani might bring them. The Uruguay international could well be called upon earlier than planned tonight.
O. Selnæs
Yellow Card
Selnaes gets a yellow card for a poor tackle on Thiago Motta, where the Norway international entirely missed the ball and clipped the man with his follow through.
The linesman has his flag raised yet again, as Verratti lifts a ball over Malcuit that is looking for Kurzawa, as the Italy international continues to pull the strings in the middle of the park for PSG. Less than 10 minutes remains in the first half for the hosts to find a breakthrough, but they have reasserted themselves as dominant since Trapp's save to deny Saivet.
Verratti opens play out to the right-hand side, with Meunier driving infield before slotting a pass out to the left. PSG are desperately probing for a weakness in Saint-Etienne's lines, and they are getting closer. Verratti tries to slot a through-ball into the path of the onrushing Matuidi, but Ruffier is quick off his line to parry clear.
Lucas tries to turn on the edge of the penalty box and shoot, but Pogba sticks out an important leg to block the effort. Moments later, Ben Arfa is found in acres of space around 12 yards out from goal, but blasts a rushed finish straight at Ruffier!
PSG have had more of the ball in the opening half an hour, but Les Parisiens are struggling to find a way through what is a five-man Saint-Etienne defence at times. Ben Arfa wins a free-kick from M'Bengue on the left, but the hosts choose to play it short due to the distinct lack of height in their team today.
That effort from Saivet will be a wake-up call for the hosts, who can't afford to keep gifting away the ball in risky situations. Saint-Etienne are already showing that they are prepared to hurl bodies forward on the counter-attacks. The home fans are just starting to get a little bit restless.
Jese tries to jink inside from the right flank and shoot, but Lemoine tracks back to make things congested in the Saint-Etienne box. The visitors manage to break down the right, with Roux able to pick Verratti's pocket in a dangerous area, before a flicked finish from Saivet cannons off Trapp at his near post! That's the closest anyone has gone thus far.
M. Verratti
Yellow Card
Verratti picks up a yellow card for dissent, after giving the referee a rather large piece of his mind. The ex-Pescara midfielder has to be careful now.
Roux is picked out making his way down the right channel by Pogba, with the ex-Lille striker haring into the clear, but the French striker can only cushion a half-volley attempt well wide of the back post.
Meunier has been asked to do a lot of defensive duties recently, with the Belgian right-back ensuring that M'Bengue is unable to have any joy in advanced areas. Kurzawa now has to clear up a mess on the edge of the PSG box, after a bit of pinball that involves both Roux and Saivet.
Lemoine takes aim from around 25 yards out, but the experienced Frenchman can only send a poor effort swirling some way wide of the back post. PSG respond, with Matuidi slotting in behind Malcuit down the left flank, but the France international is caught narrowly offside.
Veretout tries to release Saivet in behind PSG's back four, but Kimpembe reads the situation well and intercepts ahead of the ex-Bordeaux midfielder. Saint-Etienne try and respond using a bursting run down the left from M'Bengue, but an eventual diagonal pass to try and put him in the clear is headed away by Meunier.
Saint-Etinne win themselves a corner, after a shot from Saivet was turned wide by a touch from a defender. The visitors whip the set-piece into the penalty area, but Lemoine can only rise high enough to plant a disappointing header well over the bar.
Ben Arfa combines with Meunier down the right-hand side, but the latter eventually gifts possession away to M'Bengue on the edge of the Saint-Etienne penalty area. PSG are dominating possession and asking all of the questions, but their final ball is certainly lacking in advanced areas of the field.
Matuidi looks to break down the left and set a pass back towards the edge of the box, but Veretout is penalised for clipping the heels of the PSG midfielder. The hosts whip a free-kick delivery in from out wide, with Lucas taking it, but Veretout is able to nod away from danger to deny a second cross in from Verratti.
Saint-Etienne are spreading their centre-backs and look unafraid to go all the way back to Ruffier, as they look to calm their nerves on the ball. Roux is yet to be given service in a dangerous area of the field, however, with PSG showing the early offensive intent. Lucas goes on a driving run from deep, but is quickly outmuscled after hurdling one tackle well.
Meunier shoots from distance with his right foot, but Ruffier is able to watch the ball into his grasp easily, registering the first shot on target of the game. Both teams continue to move the ball at a comfortable tempo, as neither coach wants an early mistake to cost his team dear.
PSG looks to break through the heart of the visiting midfield, in the aftermath of a physical battle between Meunier and Lemoine, but a misplaced pass allows for Saint-Etienne to intercept. Galtier's men have moved the ball well from flank-to-flank thus far, with Saivet looking sharp in behind Roux. Pogba tries to break into the box from the right, but loses his footing which allows Kimpembe to clear.
Meunier tries to play a first-time ball down the line for Ben Arfa to chase, but M'Bengue tracks back to snuff out the danger. Saint-Etienne look to break forward at pace, but Matuidi is penalised for a very cynical sliding challenge on Roux. The France international gets a warning for his troubles.
PSG are being patient in possession to start with, as Thiago Motta has a lot of space to sit deep in. There is plenty of movement out wide from Ben Arfa and Lucas, but neither goalkeeper has been remotely troubled in the opening exchanges, as the hosts look to settle down into the contest.
Saint-Etienne have indeed started with three central defenders, with M'Bengue and Malcuit asked to play wing-back roles. Saivet appears to be playing off Roux, pushing into a second striker role when the away side have possession.
We are underway in the first half at Parc des Princes! PSG are targetting a win to forget their defeat against Monaco, as Unai Emery looks to win the fans over in the French capital.
Saint-Etienne substitutes: Lacroix, Pajot, Dabo, Hamouma, Monnet-Paquet, Beric, Moulin.
Saint-Etienne starting line-up (5-3-1-1): Ruffier; Malcuit, Theophile-Catherine, Perrin, Pogba, M'Bengue; Saivet, Selnaes, Lemoine; Veretout; Roux.
PSG substitutes: Cavani, Areola, Krychowiak, Nkunku, Rabiot, Augustin, Di Maria.
PSG starting line-up (4-3-3): Trapp; Meunier, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Kurzawa; Verratti, Motta, Matuidi; Lucas, Jese, Ben Arfa.
TEAM NEWS: Loic Perrin returns from suspension for the visitors and slots straight back into a back three, as Saint-Etienne look to play for a point in Paris. Nolan Roux is given a chance up top, with summer signing Jordan Veretout starting in midfield with fellow new arrival Henri Saivet. Christophe Galtier's side could line up in a 5-3-1-1 formation.
TEAM NEWS: Serge Aurier, Thiago Silva, Javier Pastore and Maxwell are all out injured for the home side, with Jese set to feature for PSG due after a hernia problem. Edinson Cavani drops out from leading the line, despite to his recent goalscoring form, with Marquinhos partnering Presnel Kimpembe at centre-back. Thomas Meunier slots in at right-back, with Hatem Ben Arfa included in the attack.
Back-to-back wins over Bastia and Metz looked to be a solid start for Les Parisiens, but goals from Joao Moutinho, Fabinho and an own goal from Serge Aurier resigned the Ligue 1 holders to a 3-1 loss to Monaco recently. Saint-Etienne, however, have drawn 0-0 twice over their last two competitive fixtures, against Beitar Jerusalem and Toulouse respectively.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Saint-Etienne's visit to face reigning champions PSG in Ligue 1, as Unai Emery's side look to kick on from a disappointing defeat to Monaco last time out. The visitors, meanwhile, have started the league campaign with four points from a possible nine.