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Ligue 1 wrap: Matuidi heads PSG to top

A first-half header from Blaise Matuidi has earned Paris-Saint Germain a 1-0 win over Lyon and top spot in Ligue 1.

Lyon outplayed PSG in the first half but the home side took the lead just before the break when Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s right-wing cross was headed home by Matuidi, who completed a storming run through the middle of the pitch and into the box to score.

Sunday’s win has taken PSG to 35 points, equal with Lyon and Marseille, but the capital club are top of the pile in France thanks to a goal difference of plus 21.

In a tight first half, Lyon came closest to scoring after 26 minutes when Gueda Fofana’s aerial pass found Lisandro Lopez but the Argentine striker’s volley hit the post and, luckily for PSG, rolled along the goal line, staying out of the net.

Having resisted Lyon’s attacks, PSG grabbed the opening goal of the game in the second minute of first-half injury time when Thiago Silva took the ball off Lopez and sent the ball forward where Christophe Jallet and Thiago Motta combined with Ibrahimovic.

The Swedish striker perfectly timed his cross to the six-yard box, allowing Matuidi to score.

PSG were much better in the second half with Ibrahimovic denied by Lyon’s defence on a couple of occasions, while Javier Pastore forced a brilliant save out of visiting goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre.

But the one-goal victory was enough for PSG to leapfrog Lyon into top spot, while Lorient moved into fourth; five points off the lead in Ligue 1, with a 2-0 win away to Saint-Etienne.

Saint-Etienne entered their clash with Lorient in fourth spot but dropped to eighth with their second loss in a row at home.

Lorient took the lead in the 20th minute when Jeremie Aliadiere picked up Benjamin Corgnet’s pass just in front of the home side’s defence, turned and fired the ball past Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.

The visitors made it 2-0 in the 38th minute when Alain Traore rose highest at the back post to head Enzo Reale’s cross into the net.

While Saint-Etienne had 57 percent possession for the match, they failed to breach Lorient’s defence to remain winless in four games.

In the other Ligue 1 match, bottom side Nancy claimed a 1-1 draw against seventh-placed Bordeaux.

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Sun 16 December, 2012
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