Paris Saint-Germain kept the pressure on AS Monaco at the Ligue 1 summit after Edinson Cavani's late penalty secured a flattering 1-0 win over a resolute AS Nancy Lorraine at Parc des Princes.
The result. Although the French champions were unimpressive and would arguably have been lucky to draw, let alone win, getting the three points was the most important thing for Unai Emery's men. They did that and they move on to Barcelona.
As well as keeping the pressure on Monaco at the top of Le Championnat, PSG finished the match with no apparent injuries to key players and another clean sheet -- their fifth from their past six across all competitions. It was not ideal preparation ahead of Barca next week but their momentum continues.
The performance. Given the starting XI Emery was able to align, the showing was just not good enough from the hosts. Had Serge Aurier not been awarded a very generous penalty, Les Parisiens almost certainly would not have won the match.
Nancy were well organised by coach Pablo Correa and difficult for the home side to break down. On top of that, the visitors had a few chances to score and even managed to hit both posts with a late opportunity. PSG should feel extremely relieved to have taken all three points.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Emery constructed an interesting starting XI, but the players he sent out did not apply themselves as well as they should have done, and because of that, the performance suffered.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Kevin Trapp, 6 -- The German shot-stopper made a superb flying save in the first half and dealt with everything else that came his way with minimal fuss. He had both posts to thank for his clean sheet late on but was otherwise assured.
DF Serge Aurier, 6 -- After a difficult first half, the Ivory Coast international came into the match in the second and ended up winning the decisive penalty.
DF Thiago Silva (C), 6 -- The captain was solid without needing to be spectacular on a day when the Parc des Princes crowd celebrated the Rio Carnival and his home country of Brazil.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 5 -- The French under-21 international made a few mistakes early on but rectified those and grew into the match from there. However, his second-half booking was the latest in a line of yellow cards he needs to stamp out of his game.
DF Layvin Kurzawa, 5 -- The France international was not too involved in the first half but was more active in the second, notably going forward.
MF Grzegorz Krychowiak, 5 -- Substituted at half-time, it was a rather harsh afternoon for the Polish international. There was no obvious injury, so the decision to bring Blaise Matuidi on at half-time must have been tactical, because Krychowiak was certainly not the weakest link on the pitch.
MF Marco Verratti, 6 -- The Italian was not as dynamic as usual but still carried the ball forward and made probing passes with regularity.
MF Javier Pastore, 6 -- Started brightly, notably with some silky skills and a shot from distance in the first half. However, El Flaco faded in the second and perhaps should have been substituted.
FW Lucas Moura, 5 -- Tried his best to rouse his teammates in the first half but was unable to and only lasted until the 64th minute before Julian Draxler replaced him.
FW Edinson Cavani, 5 -- He ultimately scored the winning goal from the penalty spot but otherwise did not do too much. The Uruguayan missed a great opportunity earlier in the second half and tried a few audacious efforts before finally getting his goal.
FW Goncalo Guedes, 5 -- It was interesting to see the former Benfica man make his full home debut and he was lively enough. However, he missed a good second-half chance and was replaced by Hatem Ben Arfa with 13 minutes to go.
MF Blaise Matuidi, 5 -- The French international was sent on at half-time and was booked almost immediately. After that, he injected some energy and made PSG more combative in the midfield.
FW Julian Draxler, 5 -- Given 26 minutes in place of Lucas, the German youngster was unable to add much more than his teammate to a lazy attack.
FW Hatem Ben Arfa, NR -- The Frenchman replaced Guedes after 76 minutes and went close with an acrobatic effort, but that was about all he was able to do.