Icardi back on target as PSG march on in win over Nantes

Icardi back on target as PSG march on in win over Nantes

04/02/2020

Mauro Icardi rediscovered his scoring touch to help Paris Saint-Germain beat Nantes 2-1 away as the French champions continued their march towards the Ligue 1 title on Tuesday.

Icardi, who had not scored in his last six competitive games, found the back of the net just before the half hour and Thilo Kehrer added another after the break before Moses Simon reduced the arrears for Nantes in the 68th.

PSG moved to 58 points from 23 games and lead second-placed Olympique de Marseille, who play at Saint-Etienne on Wednesday, by 15 points.

Nantes slipped down to 10th on 32 points.

Three days after showing his frustration at being substituted in a 5-0 Ligue 1 win against Montpellier, France striker Kylian Mbappe started alongside Icardi, with Neymar missing the game due to a minor rib injury.

"Kylian put in a top performance," PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said. "We tried to play with Kylian's speed. He can play to the side, inside and outside. He was decisive."

Neymar's injury came under scrutiny since it occurred the day before Brazilian's star-studded birthday party.

"No, I was not surprised [at Neymar's unavailability] I hope he can play against Lyon," Tuchel said. "He was hurt at half-time against Montpellier. He is in exceptional form. We will decide later. He has to manage his pain."

Tuchel added he wasn't bothered that several of his players attended Neymar's party.

"If I left out everybody who went to Neymar's party, I would not be able to field a team."

Icardi, who had last scored with a treble in a 6-1 demolition of Saint-Etienne in the League Cup quarterfinals almost a month ago, found the back of the net in the 29th minute, deflecting home an Angel di Maria shot.

PSG have now scored in their last 31 away games in Ligue 1, just one shy of the French top-flight record set by Sedan between 1957-59.

Kehrer doubled the lead in the 57th minute, heading in a Di Maria corner for PSG's 100th goal in all competitions this season.

Simon pulled one back by scoring from close range after benefiting from a defensive blunder by Presnel Kimpembe, but PSG were still a cut above as they claimed their 10th win in their last 11 league matches.

"Presnel was not careless. Perhaps he was a little too confident. However, that is ok -- it happens," Tuchel said. "He has been very good these past few matches. We played with confidence and quality for 70 minutes. It was not a good decision, as it was too risky, but that is fine. I am very happy with him."

Tuchel added that he is not thinking ahead of a much-anticipated Champions League match against his former side Borussia Dortmund.

"We are preparing each match. I do not know if [Dortmund's] DFB Pokal exit is good news. I do not think it changes anything."

Elsewhere, Monaco won their first Ligue 1 game of the year by beating visiting Angers 1-0 courtesy of a first-half Stevan Jovetic goal, that moved them up to ninth on 32 points.

An early Loic Remy goal earned fourth-placed Lille, now on 37 points, a 1-0 home victory against third-placed Stade Rennais as they narrowed the gap with the Brittany side to three points.

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