Football - Beckham banishes St Etienne demons in PSG draw

David Beckham buried the bad memories of his World Cup sending- off when he played a full game at Geoffroy Guichard stadium as Paris St Germain drew 2-2 with hosts St Etienne in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Reuters

Fifteen years ago, Beckham was shown a straight red card for kicking Diego Simeone in a last-16 World Cup game at Geoffroy Guichard. Argentina went through on penalties after a 2-2 draw and England's elimination was widely blamed on Beckham.

On Sunday, the former Manchester United midfielder, who joined PSG as a free agent in January, was handed his first Ligue 1 start by coach Carlo Ancelotti in the same stadium.

He played as a holding midfielder on the right of the impressive Blaise Matuidi and was fortunate that the defensive Clement Chantome was handed a start on the right wing in the absence of the injured Lucas and Jeremy Menez.

At halftime, the 37-year-old Beckham had played 39 passes, more than any other PSG player although without taking any risk.

The former England captain managed the same intensity in the second half as he completed a total of 75 passes, more than all his team mates.

He was lucky to avoid a yellow card following a rough tackle on Joshua Guilavogui shortly before the break but Beckham's set-pieces were as polished as ever without really threatening.

Two minutes from time, he was given the opportunity to score the winner but his trademark curling free kick went just wide.

Tensions ran high, though, after St Etienne's second goal by Francois Clerc came after Brandao had stepped on PSG defender Thiago Silva's leg.

Beckham was one of several players to run towards referee Antony Gautier at the end of the game with an angry look on his face and he briefly tangled with Brandao after the final whistle.

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