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Football: Sochaux defy lowly position to deny PSG title

Paris Saint-Germain's hopes of wrapping up the Ligue 1 title for a second successive season on Sunday were dashed as struggling Sochaux held them to a 1-1 draw.

PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain's hopes of wrapping up the Ligue 1 title for a second successive season on Sunday were dashed as struggling Sochaux held them to a 1-1 draw.

The point leaves PSG eight points clear of Monaco with three games remaining and Laurent Blanc's players can ensure the title if they beat Rennes at home next up.

Sochaux, meanwhile, are four points adrift of safety but two of their last three games are against fellow relegation candidates Rennes and Evian.

Blanc will be concerned at how PSG looked comfortable in the first half but then played largely second fiddle to Sochaux in the second period.

Edinson Cavani had an early sight of goal and the Uruguayan produced a superb right-footed shot from the edge of the area in the 20th minute which Yohann Pele had to be at full stretch to tip over for a corner.

Lucas then went even closer from the resulting corner as the Brazilian's header was hacked off the line by a Sochaux defender.

However, four minutes later PSG were ahead as Cavani made no mistake, chesting down a superb long ball from Thiago Motta and then volleying it past Pele for his 16th league goal of the season.

The hosts came close to levelling in time added on at the end of the first period as Jordan Ayew's clever lay-off found Sebastien Roudet who managed to get between Motta and Thiago Silva but Salvatore Sirigu did well to save with his legs.

Sochaux also protested furiously for a penalty as a shot on goal hit Cavani's arm in the penalty area but the referee waved the players aside and blew for half-time.

However, the hosts deservedly drew level in the 56th minute, with on-loan Marseille forward Ayew again heavily involved. Sirigu beat away Sebastien Corchia's shot from the right but it came back to Ayew out on the left.

The Ghanaian international's deft backheel released Florian Marange and his cross was met by the PSG goalkeeper's fist only for the ball to rebound off Silva and trickle into the net.

It was not the first own goal scored by Silva this season, as the Brazilian also put through his own net in the 1-1 draw with Monaco in February.

Sochaux's Bosnian midfielder Sanjin Prcic came more into the match and had two good efforts from outside the area which went just wide of the PSG goal while Lucas shaved the post with a right-footed effort for the visitors.

PSG's Italian midfielder Marco Verratti should have done better when one on one with Pele but his shot was turned away for a corner.

An entertaining game should have seen PSG go behind after an excellent attack by Sochaux with Roudet having the freedom of the middle of the pitch and then finding Ayew to his left.

The former Marseille star unselfishly put in a low cross to the onrushing Cedric Bakambu but the 23-year-old, who had just come on as a substitute, somehow failed to get a touch on it with just Sirigu to beat.

Cavani too should have made them pay for that miss as he was well set up by Lucas but his shot was wild and high and left Blanc biting his fingers in frustration.

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