Kolo Muani snatches victory for PSG as Monaco move back into top two

Kolo Muani snatches victory for PSG as Monaco move back into top two

© AFP 2022
December 9, 2023 at 11:16 PM
Paris Saint-Germain's Randal Kolo Muani (L) celebrates his winning goal
Paris Saint-Germain's Randal Kolo Muani (L) celebrates his winning goal. Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP
Source: AFP

Paris Saint-Germain triumphed 2-1 on Saturday thanks to a late Randal Kolo Muani winner against Nantes, with Monaco winning to go second.

Bradley Barcola's stylish finish just before the break gave PSG the lead, but a Mostafa Mohamed header in the second half made it look as if the points would be shared in the capital.

However, Kolo Muani pounced in the six-yard box seven minutes from time to allow PSG to open up a six-point lead at the top of the table.

"I think that before an important match like Wednesday's (Borussia Dortmund), we were good right from the first minute," said PSG coach Luis Enrique.

"Nantes defended well and it was a match that allowed us to strengthen our position in the league."

In Paris, a first half dominated by the hosts, though with few clear-cut chances at either end, was illuminated by Barcola in the 41st minute when he stroked home his first goal for PSG.

Playing a one-two on the left wing with Vitinha, the 21-year-old glided into the box before opening his body and bending the ball beyond Alban Lafont.

But Nantes were back on terms 10 minutes after the break when Florent Mollet's corner was nodded in by Mohamed at the near post, leaving last week's hero Arnau Tenas little chance.

PSG were handed a welcome boost when teenager Warren Zaire-Emery entered the fray after 61 minutes, though returning captain Marquinhos left the field at the same time.

However, the key change came with 11 minutes remaining as goalscorer Barcola made way for Kolo Muani.

And just four minutes later, the French international was on hand to turn in a rebound from close-range and his fourth goal of the season was enough to give the home team a narrow 2-1 win.

Luis Enrique declared the result "a good preparation for a Champions League match" as his side now turn their attention to next week's do-or-die clash in Dortmund, the Parisians need a result to reach the knockout stages.

Monaco reign in Brittany

Monaco celebrate a goal in their match against Rennes
Monaco celebrate a goal in their match against Rennes. Photo: Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP
Source: AFP

Second-half strikes from Vanderson and Youssouf Fofana gave Monaco a 2-1 win away to Rennes with the principality side moving above Nice into second place.

Despite a late penalty from Benjamin Bourigeaud and Vanderson's red card, Monaco held out at Roazhon Park to take themselves within three points of Paris Saint-Germain at the top of Ligue 1.

Monaco started the week in third place, having somewhat fallen out of the title race in recent weeks but back-to-back wins have them firmly back in the conversation as their direct rivals prepare for action later in the weekend.

An uneventful first half, spiced only by a VAR intervention that spared the visiting side's Mohamed Camara on 14 minutes, seemed to be heading towards the second 0-0 of the weekend, after Friday's draw between Montpellier and Lens.

However, six minutes after the break Folarin Balogun profited from a lucky break to tee up Vanderson and the Brazilian defender's strike glanced off Jeanuel Belocian on its way into the net.

Just three minutes later, the defender was again in the thick of the action as he earned a caution for a foul on Amine Gouiri.

His match was then cut short with 15 minutes remaining when he fouled Mahamadou Nagida and picked up a harsh second yellow card.

A man down, Monaco dug in and managed to double their lead on 85 minutes when captain Fofana slotted a right-footed shot past Steve Mandanda, following a second assist from Balogun.

Bourigeaud converted a penalty on 90 minutes to give the hosts a lifeline, but Adi Huetter's 10 men were able to see it out, aided by a fine save from 'keeper Philipp Koehn three minutes into added time.

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© AFP 2022 photo
© AFP 2022