PSG labour to victory
Last Updated: 13/04/13 8:22pm
Blaise Matuidi celebrates his winning goal
Paris St Germain laboured to a 1-0 victory over rock-bottom Troyes to move a step closer to the Ligue 1 title.
Coming off their away-goals Champions League exit to Barcelona, PSG seemed to find the Stade de l'Aube somewhat less inspiring than the Nou Camp and afforded Troyes the better chances in the first half.
However, Blaise Matuidi's 65th-minute strike eventually sank his former club to send PSG 10 points clear of Marseille before L'OM travel to Lille on Sunday.
It might have been very different if Kevin Gameiro - leading the attack in the absence of the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic - had taken a fine chance after only three minutes, but he shot straight at Yohann Thuram-Ulien from close range after being picked out by Lucas Moura.
Stephane Darbion then went close for Troyes, striking the outside of the post with a 20-yard volley when he met Benjamin Nivet's cross with a solid strike.
Thuram made a fine save to deny Lucas after the Brazilian weaved his way through the defence, but Troyes continued to threaten too and Salvatore Sirigu had to be alert to keep out Marcos first-time shot after more good work from Nivet.
Sirigu was in action again to deny Eloge Ethisse Enza-Yamissi before the break, giving Carlo Ancelotti plenty to talk about at half-time.
Whatever the Italian coach did say seemed to do the trick, however, as PSG returned to dominate the second half.
Thuram kept out Ezequiel Lavezzi's snap-shot from the right-side of the area but could then only watch on gratefully as Matuidi's volley grazed the post on its way wide.
The breakthrough came when Gregory Van Der Wiel whipped in a dangerous cross from the right and Matuidi popped up at the far post to power it into the net on the volley.
David Beckham came off the bench and almost added to the PSG lead, bringing a fine save out of Thuram with an 80th-minute free-kick and then crossing for Javier Pastore, who saw his powerful shot blocked.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||19||38|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||18||19|