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PSG continue to struggle in Ligue 1

Associated Press Associated Press 23/10/2016 Jerome Pugmire

Striker Edinson Cavani missed an open goal near the end as Paris Saint-Germain drew 0-0 at home to bitter rival Marseille, falling six points behind French league surprise leader Nice.

Cavani managed to poke the ball wide with the sole of his boot from five metres after running onto an excellent cross by midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who had a shot blocked in injury time in a game of few chances.

Cavani, who also headed over in the second half from a good position, had a poor game - summed up when he tumbled theatrically in the penalty area late in the first half.

Referee Clement Turpin firmly waved away the penalty claims without hesitation.

It was another flat and disjointed performance from new coach Unai Emery's side.

He was hired in late June after PSG fired coach Laurent Blanc, who clinched a second straight domestic treble.

Blanc failed to get PSG beyond the quarterfinals of the Champions League, while Emery guided Sevilla to three straight Europa League titles.

On this evidence, PSG has enough to worry about on the domestic scene before thinking about conquering Europe.

PSG is third, two points behind Monaco - the league's top scorers with 29 goals in 10 games - and just two points ahead of fourth-placed Toulouse.

Emery at least showed he does not favour his main players.

He took off Italy midfielder Marco Verratti and Argentina winger Angel Di Maria during the second half.

Meanwhile, Marseille picked up an encouraging point in new coach Rudi Garcia's first game.

He was has hired Thursday by Marseille's new American owner Frank McCourt, who officially bought the club on Monday and sat next to PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

McCourt used to own the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team.

Nice belted Metz 4-2 thanks to a hat-trick from Alassane Plea who was filling in for the injured Mario Balotelli.

"Plea has extraordinary potential," Nice manager Lucien Favre said.

"But it still needs working on."

Elsewhere, Saint-Etienne beat Caen 2-1 with Henri Saivet and midfielder Jordan Veretout scoring their first goals since coming back to France from the Premier League.

Saivet joined Newcastle in January on a five-year contract but made only four league appearances last season and was loaned to Saint-Etienne following Newcastle's relegation to the second tier.

Veretout joined Aston Villa in the summer of 2015 - also on a five-year deal - and is on loan following Villa's relegation.

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