PSG secure vital win
Last Updated: 16/12/12 11:18pm
Blaise Matuidi: Scored the only goal for PSG
Paris St Germain replaced Lyon at the top of the Ligue 1 table after downing their title rivals 1-0 at the Parc des Princes.
Blaise Matuidi's goal on the stroke of half-time decided the contest in favour of PSG as Lyon fell to only their third defeat of the campaign.
PSG's win sees them move above both Lyon and Marseille on goal difference, with all three clubs having accumulated 35 points from 18 games.
Seeking their fourth win in five league games, the hosts created the first clear chance in the 12th minute and it needed a superb one-handed save from Remi Vercoutre to deny Javier Pastore after the Argentinian had latched onto Zlatan Ibrahimovic's clever pass.
The first serious threat Lyon posed came in the 23rd minute but Bafetimbi Gomis failed to make the most of a loose pass from PSG defender Mamadou Sakho as his first touch was poor and meant he could only toe-poke a shot straight at home goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
That was a let-off for PSG, but they survived an even bigger scare four minutes later when Lisandro Lopez got on the end of Gueida Fofana's great ball over the top before thumping a first-time volley which came back off the foot of the post.
That was the biggest talking point up to then, but it was Ibrahimovic who took centre-stage in the five minutes before half-time.
First the Sweden international appeared to stamp on Dejan Lovren's head, leaving the Lyon defender with a cut, then five minutes later the former Barcelona and AC Milan striker set up what would prove to be the match-winning goal.
He picked up the ball on the right wing and beat his man before delivering a pinpoint cross which the in-rushing Matuidi headed powerful past Vercoutre into the bottom-right corner.
Ibrahimovic then nearly made it 2-0 himself 60 seconds later when he broke into the area and drilled a shot at goal, but Vercoutre was equal to the effort.
Lyon probably felt they deserve to be level at half-time, but they could have few complaints at full-time as PSG dominated the second half in terms of chances.
Ibrahimovic was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Samuel Umtiti in the 60th minute before Vercoutre produced another good save to keep out a Pastore effort diving to his right.
Christophe Jallet then came within a whisker of making it 2-0 in the 75th minute with a right-footed effort from the edge of the box which shaved the left-hand post.
PSG continued to push for a second goal and they created another clear chance seven minutes from time when Pastore put in his countryman Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Lavezzi was unable to beat Vercoutre but it did not matter in the end as PSG had already done enough for the points.
French Ligue 1
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|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||18||19|