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Substitute Mbappe empowers PSG in tie

The Associated PressPARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to rescue Paris Saint-Germain from a possible first defeat of the season when he earned a second-half penalty in a 1-1 draw at Strasbourg on Wednesday.

After a poor opening half when PSG struggled to string any passes together under Strasbourg’s intense pressing, Mbappe galvanized his side but ultimately could not prevent a second straight draw.

“It wasn’t a good match from us. It’s always hard to play here because they give everything and they deserved a draw,” PSG winger Julian Draxler said. “We didn’t lose, but normally we should win. It’s a second draw for us and we have to improve ahead of our next match in the Champions League [against Red Star Belgrade].”

Unbeaten in 16 league games, defending champion PSG is 14 points ahead of second-place Lille. With 20 minutes remaining, Mbappe was felled by Kenny Lala — who had put Strasbourg ahead with a first-half penalty — and striker Edinson Cavani coolly converted from the spot for his 10th league goal of the season.

Strasbourg handed PSG one of only three defeats last season and came close to doing it again.

In a dramatic finale, midfielder Adrien Thomasson had a dipping shot acrobatically saved by PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, and had a point-blank header ruled out for offside in the fifth minute of injury time.

In the 6th minute of added-on time, PSG had a free kick on the edge of the area with its tallest players crowding the box, but veteran defender Dani Alves bizarrely went for goal and skewed the ball wide.

PSG had dropped its first points of the season in a 2-2 draw at Bordeaux on Sunday.

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