PSG were pushed hard for much of the game, but a couple of goals in the closing five minutes gave the impression that they record an easy successParis Saint-Germain reclaimed top spot in Ligue 1 with a hard-fought 4-1 victory over a much-improved Ajaccio side at Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Goals from Javier Pastore and Jeremy Menez had given the home side a two-goal advantage by the half-hour mark, but Yohann Poulard pulled one back for the Corsicans, who were competitive until the last five minutes, when Guillaume Hoarau tied up the points and Nene added a cruel fourth.
Indeed, the first effort at goal came within a minute from the island side, but Salvatore Sirigu was well positioned to save Mehdi Mostefa’s drive from outside the box. Moments later, the home bar was shaking after good work from Samuel Bouhours saw his cross deflect off the back of Christophe Jallet.
This effort woke the home side up, and before 15 minutes were played Nene had hit the visiting woodwork with a positive drive. Hoarau, who retained his place after a double against Lyon last weekend, then had a trio of efforts that failed to produce a goal.
Ultimately the pressure told. Pastore gathered the ball 30 yards out, played a neat one-two with Blaise Matuidi and then fired into the net.
Two minutes later, PSG had given themselves breathing space as Menez completed a wonderful move including the Argentine and Nene.
Before the break, Pastore went close with a volley and Hoarau headed off target, but by this time the visitors had pulled a goal back, with Poulard quickest to react after Fousseyni Diawara’s shot had been blocked by Sirigu.
After the break, PSG toiled fruitlessly to extend their advantage for nearly 40 minutes. Pastore flashed a shot just wide, but Nene went even closer, hitting the bar with a free kick that seemed in prime position for Alex to chance his hand.
In the last 10 minutes, the pressure was ramped up even more. Jallet powered forward down the right, but Nene’s effort was blocked by Guillermo Ochoa, who was again stretched by Hoarau moments later.
With five minutes remaining, PSG got their match-sealing third. Nene released Hoarau, and the striker finished neatly with a cheeky dink over Ochoa.
Ajaccio’s misery was completed in stoppage time, when substitute Siaka Tiene, who replaced the injured Maxwell, centred for Nene to strike the home side’s fourth.
The margin of victory was ultimately flattering on Carlo Ancelotti’s side, yet there could be little doubt over the course of the game that they merited the three points that carry them one mark ahead of Montpellier at Ligue 1’s summit.