Piazon secures draw for PSG
Lucas Piazon’s goal eight minutes from time earned Chelsea a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain in a pre-season clash at New York’s Yankee Stadium.
The highly-rated striker linked up with fellow Brazilian Ramires to finish well and level up the game for the Blues.
Until then, Nene’s first half goal looked to be enough for the French side. The midfielder scored with a simple finish after Javier Pastore’s effort had rebounded off the bar.
PSG had the better of the first half, dominating the play and looking far more threatening in attack.
But the second period was heavily disrupted by a raft of substitutions, and the match didn’t come alive until the final 10 minutes, when either side could have snatched the win.
The match was played at the iconic home of the New York Yankees. Although the famous baseball team have moved to a new stadium, the set up of the pitch evoked memories of Pele’s days playing for the New York Cosmos in the 1970’s.
Paris Saint-Germain started the game by far the brighter side, and built on that dominance as the first half went on.
New signing Ezequiel Lavezzi had a chance to open the scoring just four minutes in. The Argentinean was played through on goal from a long ball over the top, but despite a good first touch, his tame attempt was well saved by Petr Cech in the Chelsea goal.
PSG were controlling the possession and pressing high up the pitch, frustrating the Blues by snuffing out any forays into the opposition half.
The Champions League winners’ wing play was particularly disappointing, struggling to find any of their team-mates with crosses.
The French side took the lead on the half-hour mark after neat play from Pastore. The forward showed great footwork to beat his man inside the box and unleash a shot on goal, which hit the bar. Brazilian Nene found the rebound at his feet, and he passed the ball into the net with a simple finish.
After the goal, both teams took their foot off the gas, with neither carving out an opportunity before the interval.
Both sides made a number of changes at half time and it seemed to have a negative effect on the game.
Chelsea’s level of performance improved though, with Marko Marin in particular looking bright and creating opportunities in an advanced central midfield position.
That said, chances were at a premium and it wasn’t until the 82nd-minute the game came to life, when Piazon got the leveller for the Blues.
He played a neat one-two with Ramires and on the stretch, the Brazilian striker poked the ball past Alphonse Areola in the PSG goal.
Florent Malouda should have put Chelsea ahead three minutes later when his shot 8-yards out was saved well by Areola.
PSG had the chance to snatch the win right at the death, with Javier Pastore’s effort from close range was easily claimed by Ross Turnbull in the Blues goal.
Both sides continue their tour of the USA with Chelsea playing the MLS All-Star team on Wednesday, while Paris Saint-Germain are next in action when they take on DC United next Sunday.