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 half-time to seal the hosts' third league win on the bounce. Lisandro slammed against the post for Lyon, who couldn't improve on their promising opening as a lack of urgency condemned them 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 defence 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. Michel Bastos' set-piece delivery deflected off Christophe Jallet, but as Bafetimbi Gomis was unable to connect with the ball, Salvatore Sirigu easily collected.
The league leaders nevertheless began to assert their supremacy 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.
Ancelotti's side rallied, though, and they 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 counterattack.
Ibrahimovic's galloping run down the right was unchecked and 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 moments later, but Ibrahimovic's effort was thwarted by Vercoutre.
Buoyed by their opener, the hosts were in the ascendancy for much of the second half, with Ibrahimovic once more denied by the goalkeeper, after controlling a fine pass from Menez over the defence. Pastore also saw a chance spurned, as Vercoutre parried away his effort from an acute angle.
Les Gones struggled to find an equaliser and lacked the urgency as the second half progressed. In fact, it was PSG again who went closest to striking again, with Ezequiel Lavezzi lobbing just 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.