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Neymar, PSG Squander Lead, Lose to Montpellier 3-2 in Ligue 1 Action

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIApril 30, 2019

Montpellier's French midfielder Florent Mollet (L) and Montpellier's French defender Daniel Congre celebrate during the French L1 football match between Montpellier Herault SC and Paris Saint-Germain at the Mosson stadium in Montpellier, southern France on April 30, 2019. (Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
PASCAL GUYOT/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain's troubled end to the season continued on Tuesday as they let slip a 2-1 lead to go down 3-2 to Montpellier.

Both teams scored own goals in an even first half at the Stade de la Mosson. PSG went ahead when Ambroise Oyongo put a Juan Bernat cross through his own net after just 12 minutes.

However, Montpellier levelled midway through the opening 45 minutes when Damien Le Tallec's header from a free-kick deflected off Presnel Kimpembe and beat goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

PSG also needed Buffon to save from Andy Delort, Ellyes Skhiri and Florent Mollet before the break, while the visitors did not manage a single effort on target in the first half.

Angel Di Maria restored PSG's lead just after the hour mark. Marquinhos managed to get the ball to the Argentinian, and he produced a lovely turn to spin past goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte and tap into an empty net.

PSG thought they had a third shortly afterwards. Di Maria sent Julian Draxler clean through on goal, and his effort was brilliantly hooked clear off the line by Pedro Mendes.

It was to prove a crucial moment as Montpellier levelled with 10 minutes of normal time remaining. Mollet cushioned a huge throw out from Lecomte to Delort, and he ran on and fired past Buffon.

The winning goal arrived five minutes later from Souleymane Camera. Leandro Paredes was caught in possession after receiving the ball from Buffon, allowing Skhiri to feed Camera to seal the comeback.

     

Tuchel Must Replace Kimpembe, Paredes to Fix Dodgy Defence

PSG's defence has been a weakness this season, particularly in recent games. Thomas Tuchel's team have conceded 16 goals in their last six outings and looked far from secure once more against Montpellier.

The hosts scored three times, had two efforts cleared off the line and ensured Buffon was the busier goalkeeper throughout the 90 minutes.

Kimpembe in particular found it tough going and scored his second own goal in the space of four days to gift Montpellier an equaliser:

beIN SPORTS USA @beINSPORTSUSA

"One again, @PSG_English from set pieces, disastrous." A Kimpembe own goal gets past Buffon and puts @MontpellierHSC back on level terms. #MHSCPSG https://t.co/gKadsaw0ZD

PSG have now scored more own goals this season than any other team in Europe's top five leagues, according to Opta:

OptaJean @OptaJean

4 - Paris have scored four own goals in Ligue 1 this season, no team have scored more among the Top five European leagues in 2018/19 (level with Wolverhampton and Stuttgart). Discomfort. #MHSCPSG https://t.co/7g4478vpqa

The 23-year-old could have cost his team further. He picked up a booking just before the half-hour mark and had a real let-off shortly afterwards when he gifted the ball to Delort, but his shot was saved by Buffon.

Montpellier managed to get in behind Kimpembe for their second goal. Lecomte's huge throw out was tuched on to Delort by Mollet to run through and make it 2-2.

Kimpembe won the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France last summer but has rarely looked like a world champion this season with his club side.

He was also the target of recent criticism from Neymar, according to Le Parisien:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

@RBairner Kimpembe, I believe. I would be disappointed if that is true about Areola. Nkunku is another theory locally.

Leandro Paredes was another PSG player who was below-par and has failed to shine since joining the club in January from Zenit St Petersburg.

The defensive midfielder was guilty of conceding possession and failing to protect his defence. He was also guilty of gifting Montpellier the win with a disastrous late mistake.

While Buffon's pass to the midfielder on the edge of his box was a little risky, Paredes' lack of awareness allowed Skhiri to nick the ball off him and set up the winning goal.

The 24-year-old only arrived in Paris in January, but there have already been reports in France he will not be used regularly as a starter in the future:

Get French Football News @GFFN

A source inside the PSG dressing room on Leandro Paredes: "He is not good enough to be here." (L'Équipe)

Tuesday's defeat will increase the mounting pressure on Tuchel after a difficult first season in Paris, where he has won only Ligue 1 and overseen a disappointing UEFA Champions League campaign.

Tuchel needs to improve the team's defence if PSG are to progress, and upgrades on Kimpembe and Paredes look to be needed by the French champions.

     

What's Next?

PSG are back in Ligue 1 action on Saturday when they take on Nice at the Parc des Princes. Montpellier play a day later at home to Amiens. 

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