PARIS (AFP) – French champions Paris Saint-Germain were hit by an injury crisis on Saturday as they not only saw four players break down but also threw away a 2-0 lead over Caen in a dramatic 2-2 draw.
It was the worst possible preparation for the French Ligue 1 champions who await Premier League leaders Chelsea at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 matchup.
Following midfielder Yohan Cabaye, who limped off in the 16th minute, coach Laurent Blanc looked on in horror as Brazilian defender Marquinhos, Ivory Coast international Serge Aurier and Brazilian playmaker Lucas all suffered injuries and had to leave the match.
The late injuries, to newly crowned African champion Aurier and Lucas, meant PSG finished the match with nine men after Blanc had used all of his three substitutes.
“I’m no doctor but, concerning Cabaye and Lucas, it’s a muscle injury. For Marquinhos, it’s the hamstring. For Aurier, the quadriceps,” explained Laurent Blanc. “They all are muscle injuries. I need to see the seriousness of it all but, for Tuesday’s game, it’s going to be very, very difficult to have them back.”
Blaise Matuidi was also taken off on the hour mark with the midfielder having received a knock on the back of the knee.
“It’s more a knock so it’s not as worrying. I substituted Blaise to be safe,” added Blanc.
The freak scenario in front of a stunned home crowd at the Parc des Princes went from bad to worse when Caen miraculously salvaged a point with two late goals.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi gave PSG what appeared to be a winning advantage after first half goals but Caen, who began the day four points above the relegation zone, were given a lifeline on 89 minutes when Emiliano Sala scrambled home from inside the box.
Then deep into injury time, following a foul by Ibrahimovic, Herve Blazile curled a left-foot free kick into the top corner leaving PSG and their watching faithful in shock.