Ca­vani gifted a goal as Paris St Ger­main beats strug­gling Nancy 2-1

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Paris Saint-Ger­main striker Edin­son Ca­vani is in pro­lific scor­ing form these days and hardly needs any help from his op­po­nents.

But Nancy’s clumsy de­fense set up his goal in a gritty 2-1 away win in the French league on Satur­day that keeps sec­ond-placed PSG four points be­hind sur­prise leader Nice.

It was a poor per­for­mance from de­fend­ing cham­pion PSG, which was dom­i­nated in mid­field by two vet­er­ans play­ing for the last­placed side.

But Nancy’s de­fense was in char­i­ta­ble mood and PSG was al­ready lead­ing 1-0 when Ca­vani struck in the 18th minute.

Cen­ter back Michael Chre­tien ca­su­ally headed an in­tended back pass straight into his path, and Ca­vani sprinted through be­fore calmly lob­bing goal­keeper Guy N’Dy Assembe for his 12th goal in 10 games this sea­son.

Ca­vani will never en­joy the pop­u­lar­ity of Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic, who joined Manch­ester United af­ter be­com­ing the French club’s all-time lead­ing scorer in just four sea­sons. But the Uruguay for­ward is win­ning fans over with goals, and has 16 in 14 matches so far this sea­son for club and coun­try.

With a com­bined age of 70, Nancy’s mid­field­ers Alou Diarra and Benoit Pe­dretti - both for­mer France in­ter­na­tion­als - showed their team­mates how to play.

Pe­dretti’s pre­ci­sion free-kick from the right was met with a pow­er­ful header from Diarra who played in the World Cup fi­nal for France against Italy 10 years ago - as Nancy replied in the 55th.

But the dam­age was al­ready done, which Nancy will re­gret as PSG looked vul­ner­a­ble.

PSG’s first goal came in the 13th minute as Brazil­ian winger Lu­cas scored in bizarre fash­ion.

Lu­cas took a free-kick way out on the left and the curl­ing ball eluded Ca­vani and mid­fielder Grze­gorz Krychowiak as they lunged for it - and then bounced in front of N’Dy Assembe, who stood still as the ball rolled in.

PSG goal­keeper Alphonse Are­ola started the move for the sec­ond goal, launch­ing a long clear­ance that Chre­tien naively nod­ded back with­out anticipating Ca­vani’s pres­ence.

“We paid for our poor start to the game. They were er­rors of con­cen­tra­tion,” Diarra said. “It’s a shame be­cause we re­acted well.”

PSG’s two de­feats this sea­son have been away to Toulouse and third-placed Monaco. They played each other Fri­day, with Toulouse win­ning 3-1 to move up to fourth. Also Fri­day, Nice beat Lyon 2-0.

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