PARIS -- Paris Saint-Germain prepared for its Champions League game against Chelsea with an unimpressive 0-0 draw against Montpellier in the French league on Saturday.
PSG coach Laurent Blanc rotated his team at the Parc des Princes to avoid any injuries ahead of Wednesday's match at Stamford Bridge. His players lacked a cutting edge against a well-organized Montpellier team, and missed good chances in the first half.
PSG's best opportunity came in the third minute when striker Edinson Cavani connected with a cross from Maxwell and hit the crossbar.
Montpellier goalkeeper Laurent Pionnier made two good saves during the first half-hour, denying efforts from Cavani and Angel di Maria, and was decisive in stoppage time to stop a fine attempt from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
PSG remained 23 points ahead of second-place Monaco in the standings after the Principality's side drew 2-2 at third-place Caen on Friday. Montpellier -- the last club to win the French title before PSG claimed it for three consecutive seasons -- continued its recovery under coach Pascal Hantz, extending its unbeaten run to five games.
PSG played without key midfielders Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti, who could miss the encounter in London because of injuries. PSG travels to Chelsea for the return leg of their last 16 tie with a 2-1 lead.
Ibrahimovic started from the bench while David Luiz and Thiago Motta were not used. Blanc also gave 18-year-old midfielder Christopher Nkunku his first start in the top flight.
"I prefer that scenario than winning and ending up with players injured," Blanc said.
After Cavani hit the woodwork, Pionnier thwarted another effort from the Urugyuay international and saved a curled free kick from Di Maria. Coming in for Di Maria at the stroke of the hour, Ibrahimovic had the chance to snatch a last-minute win for the hosts but lost his one-on-one with Pionnier.