Paris Saint-Germain recovered from a sluggish start at Nantes on Saturday as they came from behind to record a 4-1 victory that provisionally stretched their lead to four points at the top of Ligue 1.
Yacine Bammou had nodded Nantes into an 11th-minute lead at the Stade de la Beaujoire but Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalised for the reigning champions just after half-time.
Edinson Cavani then came off the bench to notch his league-leading sixth goal of the season as PSG went ahead on 73 minutes before Angel Di Maria added a third with Serge Aurier also getting on the scoresheet.
“I’m not going to do an analysis of the first half because there’s not much to say, we did very little. (But) in the second half players had the desire and motivation and wanted to turn things around,” said PSG coach Laurent Blanc.
“We can be pleased with the reaction that we had after half-time but we can’t afford to make a habit of putting ourselves in those situations. It happens sometimes, it happened today. But I hope it won’t be the case again.”
Blanc stuck with his rotation policy, ahead of week’s trip to Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, as Cavani, Blaise Matuidi, Thiago Motta and Maxwell were all left out of the starting line-up.
PSG had recorded seven straight victories against Nantes in the league but the visitors fell behind early on Saturday after Javier Pastore was dispossessed just outside own area and Valentin Rongier’s cross was expertly converted by Bammou.
Cavani came on as a substitute and made an instant impact
PSG rode their luck and were fortunate not to concede a second just a few minutes later as Bammou nipped in ahead of Thiago Silva to connect with Alejandro Bedoya’s near-post delivery only for his header to come back off the post.
Nantes had scored just twice in six matches prior to the weekend but were creating plenty of chances as Jules Iloki then scuffed wide with just Kevin Trapp to beat after being played in by Rongier.
Having failed to capitalise on several openings Nantes were pegged back on 48 minutes as Pastore played a floated ball into the area, and although Di Maria’s volley was cleared off the line, Ibrahimovic was on hand to bundle in the rebound to draw to within one goal of Pauleta’s club record of 109.
Blanc introduced Cavani for Lucas Moura just past the hour and the Uruguayan made an immediate impact as he rose to flick in a Di Maria free-kick at the near post to give PSG the lead.
Di Maria then netted his second goal in as many matches after racing onto Pastore’s ball over the top and lobbing onrushing Nantes ‘keeper Remy Riou.
There was time for Aurier, back from suspension, to add further gloss to the scoreline on 90 minutes as the Ivorian acrobatically volleyed in a Pastore corner.
Later, Lyon go to a Bordeaux side still licking their wounds following a midweek 6-1 thrashing at Nice, while fourth-placed Rennes take on winless Troyes.
Saint-Etienne will aim to trim PSG’s lead back to a single point on Sunday when they host Nice with Marseille, hit with a partial stadium ban following last week’s crowd trouble, taking on Angers and Monaco going to Guingamp.
David N’Gog struck the only goal for Reims in a 1-0 win on Friday that lifted them to third.