Edinson Cavani’s scoring streak continued as Paris Saint-Germain secured an unconvincing 2-1 victory at Ligue 1 strugglers Nancy.
Uruguay forward Cavani had scored eight goals in six Ligue 1 appearances prior to Saturday’s clash at Stade Marcel Picot, and netted his ninth of the season with a sublime finish 18 minutes in.
That goal was the second of a quick-fire double for Unai Emery’s side, who had taken the lead five minutes prior courtesy of Lucas Moura’s free-kick.
Nancy – bottom of the table having lost five of their previous eight league fixtures – did pull one back 10 minutes into an end-to-end second half, veteran midfielder Alou Diarra nodding in on his debut.
The hosts were also unfortunate not to have had a penalty late on – Christophe Mandanne going down under pressure from Grzegorz Krychowiak.
But, in spite of Nancy’s resurgence, PSG held firm to seal the win, which sees them move level on 19 points with Monaco – four behind Ligue 1 pace-setters Nice.
PSG dominated proceedings early on, but Nancy – Ligue 2 champions last term – remained relatively untroubled until Lucas’s 13th-minute free-kick.
Both Cavani and Krychowiak failed to connect with the winger’s delivery, but their runs were enough to distract Nancy goalkeeper Guy N’Dy Assembe, who allowed the ball to curl inside the right-hand upright.
Emery’s side wasted little time in doubling their tally – Nancy defender Michael Chretien inadvertently heading into the path of Cavani, who made no mistake with a delicate chip.
Cavani went close again soon after, Ligue 1’s top-scorer heading straight at Assembe after getting on the end of Marco Verratti’s pinpoint delivery.
Alphonse Areola was finally called into action on the half-hour mark, PSG’s goalkeeper reacting sharply to tip Anthony Koura’s dipping effort over.
Nancy’s confidence grew, Koura continuing to represent their greatest threat as he saw a goal-bound shot blocked before squeezing a close-range strike into the side-netting.
And Nancy did haul themselves back into proceedings prior to the hour-mark, 35-year-old Diarra exploiting poor PSG defending in order to head home Benoit Pedretti’s excellent free-kick.
Cavani could have restored PSG’s two-goal cushion with just over 20 minutes remaining, but he failed to keep his effort down after unleashing a venomous strike on the half-volley.
Hatem Ben Arfa was introduced into the fray late on but it was Nancy substitute Mandanne who had the greater impact as he drove into PSG’s area but, despite Krychowiak’s apparent push, the penalty appeals were dismissed as the visitors claimed a much-needed win.
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