PSG ends poor run, beats Rennes 3-1 in league

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm •  Published: December 14, 2013

PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain bounced back from a poor run of form by defeating Rennes 3-1 in the French league on Saturday to keep a two-point lead over Monaco, which won 2-0 at Guingamp.

Thiago Motta curled a shot into the bottom corner to open the scoring in the 19th minute and Zlatan Ibrahimovic got his 14th league goal by converting a penalty in the 52nd.

Rennes winger Romain Alessandrini replied with a powerful free kick in the 67th but Edinson Cavani sealed the win by finishing off a counterattack in stoppage time.

"It looks easy but we still have to win our matches," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. "When we're a bit below par, the opponents can create problems for us."

PSG was under pressure after losing two of its three previous matches in all competitions.

Also, Toulouse stunned fourth-place Nantes 2-1, Reims substitute Floyd Ayite scored in stoppage time to salvage a 1-1 draw with Evian, Lorient beat Ajaccio 2-1 for a fifth straight victory, and Nice ended a seven-game losing streak by edging Sochaux 1-0.

On Friday, Saint-Etienne won 1-0 at Montpellier.

PSG converted its first scoring chance when Motta stole the ball from Alessandrini to fire home a low drive from the edge of the box.

Rennes threatened only from corners in the first half with wide efforts from Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik in the 32nd and the 43rd.

PSG doubled the lead shortly after halftime.

Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil stopped a point-blank shot from Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi in the 51st but his team gave away a penalty in the next minute when Cedric Hountondji tripped PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

Ibrahimovic scored from the spot by sending Costil the wrong way.

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