PSG up to 2nd place after 3-1 win against LensParis: Injury-hit Paris Saint-Germain moved provisionally up to second place in the French league on Friday after rallying to beat Lens 3-1 in a chaotic match which saw three players sent off in the space
Paris: Injury-hit Paris Saint-Germain moved provisionally up to second place in the French league on Friday after rallying to beat Lens 3-1 in a chaotic match which saw three players sent off in the space of six minutes.
Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani was among those who red-carded in the second half. After he had been booked for celebrating his goal in front of Lens fans with his trademark gun celebration routine, he remonstrated with the referee and got a second yellow.
"There were some incidents which meant that, unfortunately, the match lost a lot of interest in the second half," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. "At 10 against nine, the teams canceled each other out and it wasn't a great match."
PSG was again missing star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a heel injury and fell behind in the 10th minute when forward Adamo Coulibaly scored on a quick break to make it an ideal start for Lens coach Antoine Kombouare -- who was fired as PSG coach despite being top of the league to make way for Carlo Ancelotti three years ago.
Midfielder Yohan Cabaye equalized with his first PSG goal in the 28th and Brazilian defender Maxwell put Blanc's side ahead in the 34th.
Then, Lens defender Jean-Philippe Gbamin was sent off as Cavani earned a penalty in the 52nd.
But after he converted the spot kick, he too was red-carded in the 56th after picking up two yellow cards in quick succession.
"He doesn't deserve this red card. For a start, why did he get this yellow card before?" PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi told Canal Plus television. "He always (celebrates) the same way."
Two minutes later, Lens midfielder Jerome Le Moigne also got sent off, again for a second yellow, as he shoved Cabaye.
Two-time defending champion PSG is one point above Bordeaux and four behind league leader Marseille -- which bids for an eighth straight win when it faces Toulouse at home on Sunday.
Ibrahimovic sat out for a fifth straight league game as he waits for a heel injury to clear up and Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi remains sidelined with a hamstring injury. Center half Thiago Silva was thought to be available after more than two months out with a hamstring injury, but the Brazil captain not make the squad.
There is now another name on PSG's injury list, with midfielder Blaise Matuidi limping off with a thigh injury in the 20th minute.
"It's been a difficult start to the season for us in terms of injuries," Blanc said. "Our medical staff has a lot to do at the moment."
Moments after goalkeeper Rudy Riou had kicked away Cavani's shot, Lens scored.
Midfielder Lalaina Nomenjanahary got past right back Gregory van der Wiel and teed up Coulibaly, whose shot deflected off Thiago Motta.
PSG equalized when playmaker Javier Pastore did well to stop the ball going out of play and Maxwell crossed it to Cabaye, who beat Riou with a first-time shot. Maxwell then netted with a dipping shot after Riou had punched away a long ball from midfielder Marco Verratti.
In Saturday's games, it is: Lorient vs. Saint-Etienne; Lille vs. Guingamp; Metz vs. Rennes; Monaco vs. Evian; Nantes vs. Reims, and Nice vs. Bastia.
In Sunday's other games, xx-place Bordeaux hosts Caen and Lyon takes on Montpellier.