Ca­vani’s late penalty sinks Nancy

New Straits Times - - Sport -

Edin­son Ca­vani con­verted a late penalty as Paris Saint-Ger­main laboured to a 1-0 win over Nancy on Satur­day, while Nice stayed firmly in the Ligue 1 ti­tle race af­ter beat­ing Di­jon 1-0.

PSG en­dured a frus­trat­ing af­ter­noon de­spite their dom­i­na­tion at the Parc des Princes and sur­vived a huge scare when Nancy sub­sti­tute Alexis Busin’s shot struck both posts on 75 min­utes.

But the hosts won a con­tentious 80th-minute penalty af­ter Serge Aurier was fouled by Nancy goal­keeper Sergey Ch­ernik, leav­ing Ca­vani to score his league-lead­ing 27th goal of the sea­son as PSG moved back level on points with lead­ers Monaco.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to play against these teams that de­fend a lot and give you so lit­tle space,” Ca­vani told Canal+, with PSG turn­ing their fo­cus to de­fend­ing their 4-0 lead against Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wed­nes­day.

“The im­por­tant thing is to win. We now have to re­cover well and pre­pare for Barca,” he added.

Nancy boss Pablo Cor­rea ad­mit­ted the na­ture of the de­feat was a bit­ter pill to swal­low af­ter hold­ing out for so long against the reign­ing cham­pi­ons.

“We feel frus­trated be­cause it was de­cided by some­thing du­bi­ous. We can dis­cuss it but I think if that hap­pens in the Paris 18yard box, it isn’t a penalty,” he said.

Wy­lan Cy­prien net­ted his third goal in the past five matches — all of which have come in a 1-0 wins — as Nice climbed along­side both Monaco and PSG on 62 points.

Mario Balotelli re­turned from a one-match sus­pen­sion, but it was mid­fielder Cy­prien’s calm fin­ish on 69 min­utes in Di­jon that helped main­tain Nice’s un­likely ti­tle chal­lenge.

Saint-Eti­enne failed to make up ground in their push for Europe af­ter a 0-0 draw at Bas­tia where both sides ended the game with 10 men, while Wes­ley Said’s last­gasp equaliser res­cued a point for Rennes as they drew 1-1 at Metz.

Monaco can re­store their three-point lead at the sum­mit if they beat Nantes in a late match yes­ter­day.

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