PSG beat Toulouse to go top in Ligue 1
Paris Saint-Germain went top of the Ligue 1 table for the first time this season on Saturday as teenage midfielder Adrien Rabiot scored twice in a 3-1 win against Toulouse.
Paris: Paris Saint-Germain went top of the Ligue 1 table for the first time this season on Saturday as teenage midfielder Adrien Rabiot scored twice in a 3-1 win against Toulouse.
Rabiot struck in each half at the Parc des Princes and Thiago Silva added the third goal after Wissam Ben Yedder had pulled one back for the visitors.
The result allowed Laurent Blanc`s side to climb from third place above both Marseille and Lyon into top spot as they extended their unbeaten run to six league games and 11 matches in all competitions.
PSG are a point clear of Lyon, although OL need just a draw at home to Nantes on Sunday to go top of the table again, while Marseille can move level on points with the capital club if they win at Saint-Etienne on Sunday.
Paris had been boosted by their display in drawing 1-1 with Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, although Blanc`s side were missing a host of regulars due to injury and suspension against Toulouse.
The injured Lucas, Thiago Motta, Yohan Cabaye and Serge Aurier were joined on the sidelines by the banned Marco Verratti and David Luiz.
However, Javier Pastore made his first start since the end of January after injury and Rabiot also came into the line-up.
And it was the 19-year-old, who had a spell on loan at Toulouse two years ago, who brought the game to life after a quiet start with the opening goal in the 27th minute.
Pastore`s low ball from the right was laid off by Zlatan Ibrahimovic for Rabiot, who dispatched a beautifully controlled first-time shot from the edge of the box into the left corner of the net.
Silva headed wide when unmarked as Paris missed a great chance to extend their lead soon after, before Salvatore Sirigu was called into action at the other end to keep out an Abel Aguilar header from Etienne Didot`s cross.
The hosts extended their lead just three minutes after the restart as Rabiot stabbed in from close range after superb work by Pastore on the right flank.
On a bitterly cold afternoon in Paris, Toulouse reduced the deficit soon after when Ben Yedder converted after Aleksandar Pesic had headed on a free-kick.
It was an eighth league goal of the season, but first since early November, for Ben Yedder, who had come off the bench for the injured Didot late in the first half.
However, unlike last weekend -- when PSG threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Caen -- the defending champions held on to their advantage and wrapped up the points on 74 minutes when Silva headed in a Jean-Christophe Bahebeck free-kick.
Elswhere on Saturday, the game between Evian and Lorient was called off because of snow in Annecy, in the shadow of the Alps.
Monaco warmed up for their Champions League trip to Arsenal in midweek by winning 1-0 at Nice in the Cote d`Azur derby on Friday night.
The principality side had Aymen Abdennour sent off in the first half but snatched all three points thanks to a late Bernardo Silva strike to move up to fourth in the table.