A uncommon Layvin Kurzawa objective was sufficient for Paris Saint-Germain to beat Angers 1-Zero on Saturday and go high of Ligue 1 regardless of coach Mauricio Pochettino testing optimistic for Covid-19 earlier than the sport. Kurzawa scored with 20 minutes left on the Stade Raymond Kopa to ship PSG provisionally two factors away from Lyon, who can have the possibility to reclaim first place once they host Metz on Sunday. Assistants Jesus Perez and Miguel D’Agostino took cost of the PSG facet with Pochettino having to self-isolate after the announcement on Friday that he had contracted the virus.
The Argentine’s optimistic check adopted these of three Paris gamers — Brazilian Rafinha, Germany’s Thilo Kehrer and French Under-21 worldwide Colin Dagba — within the final week.
“It was a very difficult match. Angers are a very well organised team,” stated Perez, the Spaniard who additionally labored for Pochettino at Espanyol, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur.
“We have been in touch with Mauricio. He spoke to the gamers earlier than the match by way of video on the lodge.
“We spoke earlier than the match, at half-time and simply afterwards. We will after all keep in touch through the week.
“We already know what we will be doing in training. Of course it’s not the same without him, but we have been working together for eight years so we know what we need to put the emphasis on.”
Neymar made his return to the beginning line-up in Angers for the primary time since struggling an ankle harm in a defeat to Lyon a month in the past.
With Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria additionally beginning behind Moise Kean in assault, it was a powerful Parisian line-up however they appeared to play inside themselves in opposition to an Angers facet who sit seventh.
The dwelling workforce even nearly went forward early within the second half when a Lois Diony diving header from shut vary was nicely saved by Keylor Navas.
Stephane Bahoken additionally noticed an try deflected over earlier than PSG broke by means of.
Alessandro Florenzi’s cross from the fitting was inadvertently helped on by Angers defender Romain Thomas for Kurzawa, arriving from left-back, to attain his first objective in nearly a yr with a first-time cushioned volley on the again publish.
It was a 3rd win in 4 video games for PSG since former Spurs coach Pochettino was appointed two weeks in the past.
He received his maiden trophy in midweek when the reigning Ligue 1 champions beat Marseille 2-1 to say the Champions Trophy, the French equal of a Super Cup.
– ‘Miserable’ Marseille crushed –
Before Lyon play on Sunday evening, third-placed Lille may go stage on factors once more with PSG in the event that they beat Reims.
Meanwhile Marseille’s hopes of staying within the title race have been dealt one other blow earlier on Saturday as Florian Thauvin missed a penalty in a shock 2-1 dwelling defeat by struggling Nimes.
France World Cup winner Thauvin despatched a woeful spot-kick extensive within the first half and Swedish winger Niclas Eliasson then transformed twice from shut vary after the break to present the away facet an unassailable lead behind closed doorways on the Velodrome.
Argentine ahead Dario Benedetto pulled one again late on for Andre Villas-Boas’s facet however this outcome left them with only one win in six Ligue 1 video games.
Marseille are sixth within the league, now 10 factors behind leaders PSG, albeit nonetheless with two video games in hand.
“We risk losing touch with the teams at the top, who are more consistent than us,” stated Villas-Boas.
“We were very bad and we paid an expensive price for it. We can’t go from playing well against Paris to a miserable match like today.”
Nimes transfer off the foot of the desk after their first win in 9, however they continue to be within the backside three.
The two sides beneath them, Lorient and Dijon, had their conflict set for Sunday postponed after a Covid-19 outbreak on the Brittany membership.
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