PSG beat 9-man Lens


Paris Saint-Germain moved provisionally up to second place in Ligue 1 on Friday after rallying to beat Lens 3-1 in a chaotic match that saw three players sent off. PSG hit back with goals from Yohan Cabaye, Maxwell and Edinson Cavani as they came from a goal down to defeat their nine-man opponents. Adamo Coulibaly opened the scoring for the home side in the 10th minute but Cabaye equalised just before the half hour mark with Maxwell putting PSG 2-1 ahead five minutes later. Cavani scored the third from the penalty spot in the 55th minute after Jean-Philippe Gbamin saw red for conceding the spot-kick, but the PSG forward was then himself dismissed. The home side were left to finish the game with just nine on the pitch when Jerome Lemoigne was sent off for his second bookable offence in the 59th minute in a dramatic match. The game had been billed as a must-win for both teams with Lens winless in six games and PSG having been held to back-to-back Ligue 1 draws to lose ground on leaders Marseille. It was the visitors who started the match the brightest when Cabaye freed Cavani inside the penalty area, which forced Lens goalkeeper Rudy Riou into a good save. However, Lens broke away on a counter-attack with Riou kicking the ball to Lalaina Nomenjanahary, who beat Gregory Van Der Wiel and passed to Coulibaly to fire into the goal. Riou denied Cavani in the 19th minute but PSG could not be kept out for much longer with Cabaye getting them back on level terms after combining well with Jean-Christophe Bahebeck and Javier Pastore, the latter passing the ball to the midfielder, who volleyed the ball past Rio from 20 yards out. Maxwell added PSG's second in the 34th minute thanks to a good ball from Marco Verratti toward the penalty area, with Riou coming off his line too early to clear and missing the Brazilian's fantastic volley. The action was cranked up a notch after the break when Lens were reduced to 10 men after Gbamin saw red for a foul on Cavani in the box — his second bookable offence of the game. Cavani shot low and to the right of Riou as he dived to the left to put PSG 3-1 up, but his celebrations were quickly turned to frustration as he was booked for showing off in front of the Lens supporters after his goal. The Uruguay striker remonstrated with the referee about the booking but in doing so pulled his arm. The official took exception to Cavani's actions and showed him a second yellow card and then a red, as numbers were levelled on the pitch. However, Lens were quickly down to nine as Lemoigne was given his second booking of the match and from that point they never looked likely to get back into the game. Rio denied Pastore's right-footed volley from close range in the 73rd minute and Lucas Moura fired a chance over the bar with nine minutes remaining, with Lens left to hold on until the final whistle.