PSG held as David Beckham returns to scene of 1998 shame

David Beckham returned to the scene of his infamous 1998 World Cup red card horror show on Sunday, but was unable to inspire his Paris Saint-Germain team to victory in a 2-2 draw with Saint-Etienne.



Beckham was sent-off for kicking out at Diego Simeone early in the second half of England’s 1998 World Cup last-16 clash against Argentina at Saint-Etienne’s Geoffroy-Guichard stadium, a match which the South Americans won on penalties.



The former Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star became a national scapegoat amongst home fans and media for his sending-off, his act of petulance widely seen as the cause of England’s exit.



On Sunday, the 37-year-old former England skipper started his first league game for the Ligue 1 title-chasers, but saw his team throw away a 2-0 advantage.



The result means PSG are now five points ahead of Lyon and seven up on Marseille with nine games to play.



Javier Pastore and Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the visitors 2-0 ahead with first-half strikes, but an Alex own-goal just before half-time and a wonderful finish from Francois Clerc with 18 minutes left meant the two sides shared the spoils.



“We’re really disappointed because we should have won and there was a clear foul before the equaliser. He could have broken (Thiago) Silva’s leg,” said PSG ‘keeper Salvatore Sirigu following the controversial equaliser.



The visitors got off to the perfect start on nine minutes when Argentine Pastore worked his way into the box before chipping the ball over on-rushing Saint-Etienne ‘keeper Stephane Ruffier.



It got even better for Carlo Ancelotti’s men 10 minutes later when Swedish superstar Ibrahimovic converted a penalty following a foul by Ruffier on Ezequiel Levazzi inside the area.



It was his league-leading 25th goal of the season.



Saint-Etienne grabbed a lifeline eight minutes before half-time when PSG’s Brazilian defender Alex bundled the ball into his own goal past a startled Sirigu after a scramble in the box.



But PSG still appeared to have the match in hand and were on their way to a seven-point lead at the top before it all went wrong following some sloppy defensive work that led to the equaliser.



Right-back Clerc picked up a loose ball inside the PSG penalty area on 72 minutes and drove an unstoppable shot past Sirigu and into the right hand corner for his first goal of the season.



However, just before the goal, a dreadful foul on Thiago Silva should have stopped play.



Both Ibrahimovic and Beckham angrily confronted the referee at the final whistle.



“We all make mistakes, even the referee makes mistakes, we are all human,” said Ibrahimovic.



“It was a simple chat at the end. The referee told me to calm down and I told him also to calm down.”



Beckham had a late chance to win the match for PSG with a free-kick just outside the box but curled his shot, towards the left-hand corner, drifted just past the post.



In earlier games, Nice suffered a massive blow to their Champions League ambitions as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Nancy while Toulouse and Bordeaux played out a 0-0 draw.

Read more :
  • Cooper race announces winners
    The 3rd Annual Mini-Cooper Racing Event was held recently at the Batangas Racing Circuit. This year’s race, “Petronas Philippines Motorsports championships – Philminiracers Classic Mini Rac...
  • Anne Keothavong targets Olympic Games
    Great Britain's number two Anne Keothavong has set herself the target of qualifying for the Olympic Games in London next year. The 28-year-old is currently ranked number 72 in the world bu...
  • EMPTY SEATS PUT WIMBLEDON TICKET POLICY IN SPOTLIGHT
    LONDON: Wimbledon’s ticket policy came under scrutiny on Tuesday after several of the tournament’s top stars played against a backdrop of empty seats. The criticisms echoed the controversy ...
  • Juanma’s dilemma
    It is safe to say that the devastating fourth round knockout loss Puerto Rican boxing superstar Juan Manuel (popularly known as “Juan­ma”) Lopez recently suffered against Ame­rican Miguel A...
  • Federer and Serena power into quarter-finals
    MELBOURNE - Roger Federer delivered a lesson to the next generation at the Australian Open, extending his record to a 35th consecutive grand slam quarter-final after Serena Williams set up ...
  • Bibat fends off rivals, nails maiden win
    Michael Bibat ended a five-year long search for a breakthrough victory, fending off a slew of rivals in a wild, woolly finale to nail the ICTSI Rancho Palos Verdes crown with a two-under 69...
  • Dapudong to defend title on August 31
    Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong connects a solid left to the face of Zulu fighter Gideon Buthelezi. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO SOUTH African boxing, apparently stung by Edrin “The Sting” Dapu­dong’s sen...
  • PH junior chess team bags 5 medals in Iran meet
    The national junior chess team bagged two gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the 2013 Asian Youth Chess Championship held in Sari, Iran. International Master (IM) Jan Emmanuel Garci...