Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappe both out of sync as PSG settle for draw with Napoli
Angel Di Maria spectacularly salvaged Paris Saint-Germain a point at home to Napoli in Champions League Group C with a late equaliser on Wednesday.
Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens twice put the Italians in front at Parc des Princes but a Mario Rui own goal and Di Maria's dramatic leveller in the third minute of five added on keeps the French giants within two points of group leaders Liverpool.
Just when it looked like it was not going to happen, Di Maria popped up with a moment of magic to spare PSG's blushes. Had Napoli held out and left Paris with all three points, it would not have been undeserved, so Thomas Tuchel and his players can feel relieved.
Although it started to look hopeless before five minutes were added on at the end, the hosts never gave up and kept looking for the equaliser until they got it. If they can show that sort of character in Naples, then they can hope to bring back a full three-point haul.
Predecessors Laurent Blanc and Unai Emery frustrated Parisien supporters with their reluctance to make early changes but Tuchel does not have the same problem. The German tactician sent Thilo Kehrer, Julian Draxler and Moussa Diaby on during the second half and was rewarded with a point.
The most alarming thing about the match was the lack of intensity on PSG's part -- Napoli deservedly led at half-time and would not have been undeserved winners. If the French champions put in a repeat performance in Italy in a fortnight, they risk their Group C chances being extinguished by Carlo Ancelotti's men.
Not only was the intensity lacking but the team suddenly looked devoid of the chemistry that is usually there, with individuals looking to play for themselves and not the team. Tuchel resolved that to an extent over half-time, but he will demand much, much more from his players in Naples based on what he has already seen from them.
As exquisite as Insigne's goal was, it was also avoidable from a PSG point of view and Mertens' required a sizeable slice of good luck for the Serie A outfit, as well as a hefty chunk of bad luck on the Parisien side -- both were avoidable.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Tuchel went with a logical starting XI but quickly realised that logic sometimes goes out the window when PSG take to the pitch in the Champions League. Too many players did not produce the sort of intensity that the German demands and it was up to him to find tactical solutions from half-time, which he did -- just about.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 5 -- Picked the ball out of his net twice and although Insigne's finish was excellent, he could have raced off his line faster. Given little chance on Mertens' goal, he also watched the Belgium international hit his crossbar.
DF Thomas Meunier, 6 -- Provided the assist for the first equaliser and was required more in attack than defence during the second half, so was pushed into a right-wing role.
DF Marquinhos (c), 4 -- Skipper in Thiago Silva's absence, it was an uncomfortable evening for him and central defensive partner Presnel Kimpembe. Unlucky but involved all the same in Mertens' second for Napoli and also was booked.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 4 -- Along with Areola and Juan Bernat, he was caught cold for Insinge's opener and rarely looked at ease alongside Marquinhos all evening.
DF Juan Bernat, 5 -- Replaced by Thilo Kehrer at half-time, although he was not necessarily the weakest link. Tuchel's change enabled PSG to change formation and Bernat, one of the more committed figures in the first half, had to be sacrificed for that to happen. At fault for Napoli's opener but not alone.
MF Marco Verratti, 5 -- Complacent, like many of his teammates, but it was a surprise that Tuchel withdrew him instead of Rabiot, who fared worse.
MF Adrien Rabiot, 4 -- His most disappointing performance of the season by some distance. Like many of his teammates, he lacked intensity and struggled to contain Napoli's midfield as much, if not more, than Verratti.
FW Kylian Mbappe, 4 -- One of his worst PSG showings. He lacked concentration and motivation, looked fully self-absorbed, and was lucky that he was not hauled off by Tuchel during the second half.
FW Neymar, 6 -- Influential at times but the early knock meant that it took him a while to find his rhythm. Once he did, his teammates wasted much of his hard work, but he kept going until the end.
FW Angel Di Maria, 5 -- Like his teammates, he laboured over the 90 minutes, but he also conjured up the moment of magic when it mattered most to single-handedly salvage a point for PSG.
FW Edinson Cavani, 3 -- The occasion got the better of him and he grew increasingly agitated after he and Neymar came together inside of two minutes. it was no surprise that Tuchel elected to replace him, just that it took so long to do so.
DF Thilo Kehrer, 6 -- Solid enough once introduced, he enabled Tuchel to switch to a back three. Could do little to prevent Mertens from scoring Napoli's second as he would have opened up a massive hole in the defence if he went to the ball.
FW Julian Draxler, N/R -- Teed Di Maria up for his dramatic late leveller, so had the desired impact when he replaced Cavani for the final 14 minutes. Also picked up a late booking.
FW Moussa Diaby, N/R -- Only given the final seven minutes plus added time, he put in a strong cameo dand unnerved Napoli's defence more than a few of teammates managed to over the full 90.