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Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais: Parisians take top spot away from les Gones

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Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais: Parisians take top spot away from les Gones
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Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais: Parisians take top spot away from les Gones
Paris Saint-Germain moved back to the summit of Ligue 1 with a narrow 1-0 victory over Olympique Lyonnais at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Blaise Matuidi got the only goal just before halftime to seal the hosts' third league win on the bounce. Lisandro slammed against the post for Lyon, which couldn't improve on its promising opening as a lack of urgency condemned the club to defeat.

Carlo Ancelotti named one change from the side that thrashed Valenciennes 4-0 on Tuesday, as they aimed to regain top spot in the league. Remi Garde meanwhile was boosted by the return of Anthony Reveillere, who passed a fitness test to start.

Amid a raucous atmosphere in the French capital, it would be the hosts who enjoyed the best opening as Jeremy Menez used fine pace and trickery to carve open the defense before being denied by the re-emerging Dejan Lovren.

Soon after, Remy Vercoutre was called upon to produce a fine stop to deny Javier Pastore. The Argentine international latched onto a brilliantly disguised pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as his powerful effort was beaten behind by the goalkeeper in the first real chance of the game.

The visitors took their time to find their rhythm, though they too would spurn a decent opening. Blaise Matuidi gave away a free kick after a rash challenge on Lisandro. Consequently, Michel Bastos' free kick deflected off Christophe Jallet, as Bafetimbi Gomis struggled to connect with the ball as Salvatore Sirigu easily collected.

The league leaders were nevertheless in the ascendancy as the first half wore on. After Gomis saw a tame effort picked off by Sirigu, Lisandro then proceeded to strike the post. A fantastic cross-field delivery picked out the forward, who ghosted in behind Thiago Silva and saw his volley power against the woodwork and out.

Ancelotti's side rallied as it finally scored the opener amid a dramatic ending to the first half. Ibrahimovic's innocuous stamp on Lovren went unpunished by referee Antony Gautier, before Lisandro was denied by a last ditch challenge by Thiago Silva, who inadvertently ignited a PSG counter-attack.

Ibrahimovic's galloping run down the right was unchecked, as his brilliant delivery in towards Matuidi was converted in by the midfielder, for his third league goal of the season. It could've been 2-0, as Ibrahimovic's effort was thwarted by Vercoutre.

Buoyed by their opener, the hosts were in the ascendancy in the second half, as Ibrahimovic was once more denied by the goalkeeper after controlling a fine pass from Menez over the defense. Pastore also saw a chance spurned, as Vercoutre parried away his effort from an acute angle.

Les Gones struggled to find an equalizer, and lacked the urgency as the second half progressed. In fact, it was PSG again which was closer to its second as Christophe Jallet fired in from the edge of the area, pouncing on a loose ball which whistled furiously wide before Ezequiel Lavezzi lobbed over the bar.

The hosts held on to move back to the top of the table on goal difference, level on 35 points with Lyon and Olympique de Marseille. Their final game of 2012 sees them travel to Stade Brest, as Lyon host high-flying Nice at the Stade Gerland next weekend.

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