Comfortable win for PSG
Last Updated: April 6, 2013 6:25pm
Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads the PSG celebrations
Paris St Germain warmed up for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Barcelona with a comfortable 2-0 victory in Rennes, which restored their seven-point advantage over Marseille at the top of Ligue 1.
With one eye on their midweek trip to the Nou Camp, PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti opted to rest some of his star names including David Beckham, Javier Pastore, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Lucas Moura from his starting line-up.
But, despite that, second-half goals from Jeremy Menez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic proved enough to claim all three points and keep the capital club a healthy distance clear of second-placed OM, who beat Bordeaux 1-0 last night.
Rennes' failure to score for a third game in four meant the hosts had won just once at home since the turn of the year, and Frederic Antonetti's men had all but thrown away their chances of European qualification.
The visitors dominated the opening exchanges and Ibrahimovic saw an early shot blocked by Alou Diarra after being picked out by Menez.
Despite PSG's early dominance, though, it was Rennes who had the first real chance to take the lead inside 15 minutes but Sadio Diallo's effort from inside the area was turned away superbly for a corner by Salvatore Sirigu.
Rennes defender John Boye went close to gifting the Parisiens the lead when he almost headed into his own goal from an Ibrahimovic attempt, but it was the Sweden forward who was guilty of squandering the first half's best chance moments later.
Menez released the former Barca man in behind the Rennes defence but, when faced with only the goalkeeper, he opted for a clever flick which was saved by Benoit Costil.
Ancelotti brought on Beckham at the interval in a bid to spark the visitors into action and Menez almost gave his side the lead when he weaved his way into the area soon after but the Frenchman's effort sailed over the bar.
Menez's endeavour paid off 10 minutes after the break, though, when he danced past four Rennes defenders before coolly slotting the ball beyond Costil.
PSG almost scored a second immediately after but, after linking up well with Gregory van der Wiel, Kevin Gameiro's goal-bound effort was kept out by Costil's knee.
Rennes' Anders Konradsen was denied by a last-ditch tackle from the impressive Van der Wiel with just over 15 minutes left to play, but the hosts' recent lack of goals was proving to be their undoing.
Despite some sustained late pressure from the hosts, PSG remained focused and doubled their lead at the death. Pastore and Beckham combined before the former England captain picked out Ibrahimovic to secure all three points with his head.
French Ligue 1
|1||Paris St Germain||37||80|
|15||Evian Thonon Gaillar||37||40|