In coach Mauricio Pochettino’s first game in charge on Wednesday, Paris St Germain was held to a 1-1 Ligue 1 draw at St Etienne as the French champion struggled to count his possession.
In the first half, Moise Kean canceled out the opener of Romain Hamouma, but PSG was unable to find the net again as it allowed Olympique Lyonnais, who beat RC Lens 3-2, to open a three-point lead at the top of the standings.
However, after the northerners sunk to a 2-1 home loss by Anger, PSG climbed up to second on 36 points from 18 games, leapfrogging Lille on goal difference.
Elsewhere, former France coach Raymond Domenech returned to the bench with Nantes, 10 years after Les Bleus were knocked out in a humiliating fashion in the first round of the 2010 World Cup, with the Canaries holding the fourth-placed Stade Rennais to a 0-0 home draw.
Four days after being appointed Thomas Tuchel’s successor, who guided the club last August to their first final of the Champions League, Pochettino was left considering the challenge at hand following Geoffroy Guichard’s lackluster performance by PSG.
When Hamouma fired home after Idrissa Gueye had been dispossessed in front of the field, St Etienne took the lead in the 19th minute.
After a clever deflection by Marco Verratti from Kylian Mbappe’s cross, Kean equalized three minutes later with a shot on the turn.
PSG enjoyed almost 70% of possession, but lacked endurance and inspiration in the absence of Neymar, still recovering from an ankle injury, while Mbappe had yet another match to forget.