PSG snatch late point against Napoli after last-gasp Angel Di Maria strike

Angel Di Maria rescued Paris St Germain’s Champions League hopes as his sensational stoppage-time equaliser secured a 2-2 draw with Napoli.

Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens had twice given Napoli the lead at the Parc des Princes, and PSG seemed to be on their way to a second defeat in three Group C games.

But PSG, who had equalised through Mario Rui’s own goal, were spared a crushing defeat when Di Maria dispatched a superb 20-yard curler in the third of the five minutes added on.

Di Maria had been largely anonymous as the French champions huffed and puffed against a resilient Napoli defence, in which Kalidou Koulibaly had excelled.

But the Argentina star came up with a dramatic moment of magic to leave PSG a point behind Napoli at the halfway stage, and two adrift of group leaders Liverpool.

On a night when PSG’s much-vaunted strike trio of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe largely disappointed, Napoli manager Carlo Ancelotti had seemed ready to celebrate his return to the French capital.

Ancelotti won the Ligue 1 title in 2013 in his only full season at PSG, and his former club rarely looked like claiming their first Champions League victory over Italian opposition.

The hosts began brightly with Mbappe firing wide from a tight angle and Cavani determined to make his mark against the club where he spent three years before leaving for Paris in 2013.

Cavani raced onto Mbappe’s pass after 17 minutes, but David Ospina pushed out his deflected shot.

Napoli, however, gradually grew into the game and took control after Mertens had diverted Rui’s centre on to the crossbar.

Jose Callejon saw his effort saved at the near post before the lively Spaniard turned provider four minutes later.

Callejon’s perfectly-weighted pass exposed the ball-watching PSG defence and Insigne beat the advancing Alphonse Areola with the deftest of chips.

Insigne might have doubled the lead from Marek Hamsik’s pass, but he was unable to control his volley and test Areola.

PSG threatened when Neymar released Mbappe and Ospina blocked with his legs, but Napoli deservedly reached the break 1-0 ahead.

Napoli withstood early second-half pressure when Neymar was thwarted, but PSG’s eventual equaliser just after the hour mark was down to a huge slice of luck.

Thomas Meunier’s cross looked like causing little damage until Rui stuck out a boot and diverted it past the helpless Ospina.

Napoli’s lead was restored 13 minutes from time when Fabian Ruiz’s cross struck Marquinhos and fell kindly for Mertens to convert from close range.

But Di Maria spared PSG’s blushes and gave them last-16 qualification hope ahead of the return match in Naples, when he came up with a ferocious effort deep into stoppage time.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

Serving quality football news from around the globe. No click-bait.