All square between big two
Last Updated: 22/09/13 11:26pm
Falcao: Scored for Monaco
The battle of the big spenders ended all square as Paris St Germain and Monaco had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night which kept the visitors top of Ligue 1.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted a Maxwell cross to put the capital club into an early lead, but Radamel Falcao bravely headed home an equaliser within 15 minutes to ensure Monaco maintained their unbeaten start to the season.
The hosts had the better chances, but the wasteful Ibrahimovic was guilty of over-playing at times, missing three golden chances.
The draw kept Monaco two points clear of PSG and St Etienne.
Qatari-backed PSG have joined the heavyweights of European football with their recent big-name acquisitions, but newly-promoted Monaco, financed by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, have huge ambitions too and this first meeting had been eagerly-anticipated, and not just in France.
PSG made the perfect start and took the lead inside the first five minutes when Thiago Silva played a superb ball to release Maxwell down the left.
The Brazilian full-back was in acres of space, the defence horribly out of positive, and his fine cross picked out Ibrahimovic, who met it first time to score.
That goal was to be Thiago Silva's last involvement, though, as the influential centre-back left the pitch clutching his hamstring, a blow for the hosts with fellow defender Alex also missing through injury. Zoumana Camara came on to replace him.
Matters got even worse for Laurent Blanc's men after 20 minutes when they were pegged back.
Joao Moutinho was the provider, swinging in a cross from the left which Falcao bravely dived to head home at the near post for his fifth goal in six Ligue 1 appearances.
Undeterred, PSG continued to press and Ibrahimovic nearly caught out Subasic with an audacious volley before the PSG number 10 turned provider with a neat flick for Edinson Cavani, but the Uruguayan fired wide.
Ibrahimovic was proving to be a thorn in Monaco's side, but he should have put his side back in front when he rose to meet Ezequiel Lavezzi's dangerous free-kick, but, unmarked, he powered his header over.
The Swede was guilty of an even more blatant miss with half-time looming.
He was sent clear on goal, but instead of shooting with his left foot, he chose to cut back inside and his attempted chip went beyond the far post.
Ibrahimovic continued to remain centre of attention, but his wastefulness continued as he threw away another glorious chance to score.
Lavezzi robbed Monaco captain Eric Abidal before sliding the ball in for the tall striker, whose attempt at a clever back-heeled finish went wide of the near post.
With the game now ebbing and flowing Monaco went up the other end but Yannick Ferreira Carrasco's miscued volley ended up just wide of Salvatore Sirigu's goal after Fabinho had picked him out.
Monaco threw on James Rodriguez on the hour mark, while PSG responded by introducing Lucas Moura and it was the former who almost made the difference but his drilled effort was saved by Sirigu at the second attempt.
Monaco seemed content to sit back and contain their hosts in the latter stages and, despite Cavani almost grabbing an injury winner only to be denied by Danijel Subasic, Claudio Ranieri's men held on for a valuable away point.
French Ligue 1
|2||Paris St Germain||27||53|
|17||Evian Thonon Gaillar||26||29|