Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

PSG and Beckham slump to shock defeat at Reims

Ezequiel Lavezzi of Paris St Germain celebrates his goal during their French Ligue 1 soccer match against Stade de Reims at the Gustave Delaune stadium in Reims March 2, 2013.


Paris Saint-Germain suffered another shock away defeat on Saturday, going down 1-0 away to struggling Reims despite the hosts having to play with 10 men for the final half an hour.

Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak was the star for the home side, netting the all-important goal just six minutes after Christopher Glombard had been sent-off.

The introduction of David Beckham for the final 26 minutes could not prevent the capital club slipping to their fifth Ligue 1 defeat this season, and their second in three outings following a 3-2 reverse at Sochaux last month.

Story continues below advertisement

"It's not the same problem [as it was against Sochaux], it's a different match. At Sochaux it was an attitude problem in particular. Here, we had problems playing because the pitch wasn't good," was the verdict of PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti.

"It's not a problem of concentration. We tried to play with the ball on the ground but the pitch wasn't good. I can't be angry. The team is doing good work, we are still top of Ligue 1. Today it was a technical problem, not a problem with attitude," the Italian added.

Ancelotti's side remain three points clear at the top of the table, but Lyon will join them at the summit by beating Brest in Brittany on Sunday.

The result also gives a glimmer of renewed hope to third-placed Marseille, who entertain Troyes on Sunday.

PSG made the short trip to Champagne country fresh from beating bitter rivals Marseille twice in the last week, once in the league and once in the Round of 16 of the French Cup.

Ancelotti made seven changes to his team from the Cup tie, with Javier Pastore, Lucas and Ezequiel Lavezzi among those returning along with the suspension-free Marco Verratti.

His return in central midfield meant that Beckham was back on the bench at kick-off at a packed Stade Auguste-Delaune.

Story continues below advertisement

Even with one eye on the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Valencia next Wednesday, PSG should have been strong enough to see off the challenge of a Reims side with just one win in their previous 19 matches in all competitions.

The fact that 22-goal Zlatan Ibrahimovic had scored as many times in Ligue 1 this season as Reims indicated the size of task awaiting the home side, and the Swede was first to try his luck, fizzing in a low strike that Kossi Agassa helds at the second attempt.

Moments later, PSG 'keeper Salvatore Sirigu had to turn a deflected Antoine Devaux strike from range around the post, but that was a rare moment of respite for the home side.

Lavezzi missed a glorious chance to open the scoring 10 minutes before the interval, slotting wide after finding himself clean through on goal at the end of a quick counterattack.

Agassa then beat away an Ibrahimovic free-kick from 35 yards, before the Swede was denied the opening goal by the assistant referee's flag three minutes into the second period.

The big centre-forward beautifully volleyed in a long ball from Verratti, only for an incorrect offside decision to deny him his 23rd of the season.

Story continues below advertisement

Nevertheless, Reims appeared to be right up against it when Glombard was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Pastore in the 58th minute.

And yet the hosts went on take the lead when Mohamed Fofana headed down a corner for Krychowiak -- who had wriggled away from his marker Alex -- to convert at the far post fir only his second career goal in the top flight.

Beckham was unable to change the game PSG's way after that, and Odair Fortes almost made it 2-0 from a winding solo run before Reims hung on through nearly seven minutes from injury time for a vital win.

Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to