PSG edge Rennes to close gap on Lyon

Ezequiel Lavezzi scored the only goal as champions Paris Saint-Germain edged Rennes 1-0 on Friday to maintain their undefeated Ligue 1 home record and cut the gap on leaders Lyon to just one point.

The win was PSG’s sixth consecutive home win in all competitions while stretching their Ligue 1 record at the Parc des Princes to eight wins and three draws.

However, Lyon, who face PSG in 10 days’ time, can restore their four-point lead with victory at Monaco on Sunday.

“I would have liked to have had a bigger victory, but we kept a clean sheet. That’s satisfying,” said PSG coach Laurent Blanc.

“We scored a very good goal but we expect more up front.”

Hollywood actress Salma Hayek, the wife of Rennes owner Francois-Henri Pinault, watched the game from the stands but her star quality failed to rub off on her husband’s mid-table team.

“There’s a little bit of frustration because we had chances to take a point,” said coach Philippe Montanier.

“Paris scored a magnificent goal but when we had opportunities we were unable to take them.”

Lavezzi grabbed the decisive goal after 29 minutes after a neat interchange of passes down the left between Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was involved twice, Adrien Rabiot and Javier Pastore.

Argentine star Lavezzi, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool before the transfer window shuts on Monday, was then on hand to tuck the ball past Benoit Costil in the Rennes goal for his third goal of the season.

Rennes may have gone into Friday’s game having not won a game in Ligue 1 since December 3 but they had defeated PSG 2-1 on their last visit to the capital in May.

They showed they would not be intimidated by the champions and came close to an equaliser moments later.

Pastore played a poorly-weighted back pass which was intercepted by Abdoulaye Doucoure.

The midfielder was clean through but his tame shot was well saved by an alert Salvatore Sirigu in the PSG goal.

Five minutes after the interval, it was the turn of Costil to keep his team in the hunt.

Brazilian defender Marquinhos found Edinson Cavani with a neat pass which dissected the Rennes backline but the Uruguayan striker was denied his 17th Ligue 1 goal of the season by a fine diving save from Costil.

Cavani missed another close-range opportunity before he was hauled off by manager Laurent Blanc.

At the other end, Sirigu kept PSG’s advantage intact with a save from Christian Bruls after Lavezzi had given the ball away.


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