It wasn't as easy as the score suggests for PSG yesterday away at Nantes. As the corny football cliché goes, this really was a game of two halves. The home side, who have now lost their last four consecutive Ligue 1 games, went into the break in the lead following an early Yacine Bammou goal, but the damage could have been much worse for the French champions with Bammou nearly doubling the lead as he hit the woodwork.
PSG's new German 'keeper Kevin Trapp once again looked nervy in goal. He parried an early shot that he could easily have caught and there will be questions asked about his positioning for the opening goal, which was a very well taken header by the man who amazingly used to work in the PSG club shop only two years ago.
Nantes went into the break leading their illustrious opponents, and they were very good value for their lead with the Paris club failing to carve out any clear-cut opportunities. Lucas Moura was ineffective on the left wing and ex-Spurs midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, who came in to replace Blaise Matuidi who was rested for the Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek, was wasteful in possession.
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Credit to Laurent Blanc for rallying the troops at half time because the reigning French champions came out fighting after the break and soon levelled the scoring through their talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic who prodded home from close range following a goalmouth scramble.
With PSG in the ascendancy, the home side were forced to drop deeper to try and hold on to the point. Les Parisiens made several changes midway through the second half and their substitutes changed the game as the free-scoring Edinson Cavani came on to nod in di Maria's free-kick minutes after coming on.
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Di Maria class
The Argentinian, who has looked revitalised in France then produced a brilliant lob over the Nantes goalkeeper following a fine lofted through ball from fellow countryman Javier Pastore. Serge Aurier then made it 4-1 from a Pastore corner to add insult to injury for the Ligue 1 strugglers.
It was most importantly another three points for PSG who have now extended their lead to at the top of the Ligue 1 table. Blanc's strength in depth showed again with the substitutes making a decisive difference for the French heavyweights, but concerns remain over whether Kevin Trapp is really the answer in goal after another shaky display.
Di Maria's form will give encouragement to the Parisian fans, though, as for the first time since his arrival, he, Cavani and Ibrahimovic all scored in the same game. Hopefully a sign of things to come.
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