Lucas' controversial late winner saves Areola, PSG vs. Lille

Paris Saint-Germain remain just three points behind Monaco in the race for the Ligue 1 title after substitute Lucas Moura's dramatic late winner spared goalkeeper Alphonse Areola's blushes.


The fact that the French champions came away with all three points was almost miraculous. Not only were PSG disappointing on the night, despite changing formation, they conceded an awful late equaliser and still managed to emerge victorious.

After Monaco's narrow 2-1 win away at Montpellier earlier on Tuesday, Les Parisiens really needed to win at Parc des Princes and they ultimately did that -- even if both goals were both extremely fortuitous.

Cavani continues to score, bagging his 23rd Ligue 1 strike of the season against Lille. The Uruguayan international is in fine form in front of goal ahead of next week's UEFA Champions League clash with Barcelona and his confidence -- crucially -- is sky high.

As well as seeing his team get out of jail late on, Unai Emery will have no new injury concerns with just Bordeaux to come before Barcelona's visit.


Despite the result, PSG required two huge slices of luck to beat Lille. Cavani scored with his shoulder after Anwar El Ghazi redirected a free kick into his path and Lucas was offside when he scored the hosts' late, late winner.

The situation between Areola and Kevin Trapp has produced plenty of debate already this campaign and the Frenchman added to that with a horrific late mistake, which almost gifted the visitors a point. It was not the first gaffe this term from the youth academy graduate either.

Manager rating out of 10

5 -- Emery's switch to the 4-2-3-1 formation did not work but his substitutions did -- just about -- with Lucas scoring the late winner.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alphonse Areola, 3 -- Although the Frenchman's late mistake to gift Lille a short-lived equaliser will be all anyone can talk about post-match, it should be remembered that he made a superb save to keep a Franck Beria header out in the first half. However, it was a hideous error at the worst possible time and his fragile confidence will have taken another hammering.

DF Serge Aurier, 4 -- It was not the Ivorian's best performance. The right-back lost Beria for the Lille man's first-half header, which was saved by Areola, and contributed precious little in the first half. Aurier improved in the second but not by much.

DF Thiago Silva (C), 6 -- Overall, it was a solid but unspectacular showing from the captain. However, the Brazil international was involved in Lille's equaliser as he passed the ball back to Areola in the build-up to Nicolas de Preville's goal.

DF Presnel Kimpembe, 5 -- Like his central defensive partner Silva, the France under-21 international was not required to do anything too testing. The youth academy graduate was booked in the second half for cynically ending a Lille counter-attack though.

DF Maxwell, 6 -- Making his 200th PSG appearance across all competitions, the veteran Brazilian got forward as often as possible but his crosses were rarely met.

MF Thiago Motta, 6 -- It was a balanced and disciplined performance from the veteran, who played for most of the match in an unfamiliar two-man defensive midfield unit.

MF Blaise Matuidi, 6 -- The France international was livelier than he has been in recent weeks and added some bite in midfield.

MF Angel Di Maria, 7 -- Responded well to the threat posed by positional rival Julian Draxler once again and looked a different player for much of the match. He utilised his speed and whipped a number of crosses in and could have netted the late winner if Lucas had left it.

MF Hatem Ben Arfa, 6 -- Until Cavani's opening goal, Ben Arfa was PSG's main threat to the Lille defence. He flashed a first-half shot wide after skipping past a few Lille players and was denied a powerful strike from outside the box by visiting goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama in the second half.

MF Julian Draxler, 5 -- The former Wolfsburg man was vibrant and displayed some nice touches and vision but ultimately was not as involved in attack as he has been lately.

FW Edinson Cavani, 6 -- Although he spent most of his night offside, the Uruguayan delivered for his team once again by finding a way to shoulder in a deflected free kick.


MF Adrien Rabiot, 6 -- Sent on for Ben Arfa after an hour, the France international got involved and could have headed in a late winner before Lucas scored.

FW Lucas Moura, 5 -- Introduced in place of Draxler with 25 minutes left to play; the Brazilian was ultimately Emery's match-winning substitution as he scored a dramatic late winner. However, there was no doubt he was offside when he scored and he should have left it for Di Maria.