Late goals from Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani helped Paris Saint-Germain respond to Ligue 1 leaders Monaco’s win at Nice with an unconvincing 3-1 victory at Dijon.
Monaco had struck a significant blow in the title race as they followed up Sunday’s draw at PSG with a comfortable 3-0 win over surprise package Nice.
That put the onus firmly on the defending champions, but Unai Emery’s men looked unlikely to keep pace with their rivals at the Stade Gaston Gerard.
Dijon, who went into the game just two points above the relegation zone, seemed to relish their task and had the better of the early going, until Lucas Moura fired PSG ahead in the 29th minute.
But PSG’s joy was short-lived as they paid the price for conceding possession inside their own half, Julio Tavares slamming home a 31st-minute equaliser.
Dijon looked to have seen off the second-half pressure from PSG, but Silva and Cavani each struck in the final 10 minutes to keep the capital club within three points of Monaco.
There was a scare inside the first 10 seconds for PSG as Serge Aurier’s weak defensive header forced Alphonse Areola to race off his line and prevent Lois Diony from having a chance to put Dijon ahead.
PSG did not learn from that near-miss and only the woodwork prevented Marvin Martin from opening the scoring, his swerving strike hitting the left-hand upright after Layvin Kurzawa had dawdled on the ball.
The visitors’ first opening saw them have a penalty appeal waved away, Cavani’s first touch upon collecting Marquinhos’ pass was poor and, though he was sent tumbling under the challenge of goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet, referee Amaury Delerue was unmoved.
Cavani had the ball in the net shortly after, only to be denied by the assistant’s offside flag.
Dijon’s defence was breached just before the half-hour mark, though, as they failed to deal with a right-wing cross from Serge Aurier.
Fouad Chafik did brilliantly to clear Lucas’ initial effort off the line after the ball had fallen to the Brazil winger, who made no mistake with the rebound and lashed PSG ahead.
But parity was restored just two minutes later. Adrien Rabiot was robbed of possession by Pierre Lees-Melou and he laid the ball off for Tavares to curl beyond Areola.
Thiago Motta had a chance to re-establish PSG’s advantage in the 42nd minute, however, Kurzawa’s left-wing cross came at an awkward height and he volleyed wide.
PSG started the second half on the front foot and Julian Draxler saw a curling effort deflected over the bar.
Another blocked Draxler effort was clawed away by Reynet, but PSG looked to be running out of ideas and the Dijon goalkeeper barely had to work to keep out Blaise Matuidi’s drive from the edge of the area.
However, captain Silva bundled home from point-blank range nine minutes from time after Reynet had tipped Motta’s header onto the post before Cavani flicked home Goncalo Guedes’ drive following neat build-up play from Draxler and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Key Opta stats:
– PSG have won their last four Ligue 1 games against Dijon. Only against Rouen have they won more games with a 100% winning rate (8 times).
– Lucas Moura has found the net in his two Ligue 1 games against Dijon (2 goals). He has scored more in Ligue 1 only against Bordeaux (3).
– Edinson Cavani is the first player in the last 25 seasons to score 22 goals after the first 23 games of a Ligue 1 season. He has found the net in 15 of his 21 games in Ligue 1 2016-17.
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