Icardi comes off bench to score PSG’s winner at Brest
PARIS (AP) — Mauro Icardi came off the bench to score an 85th-minute winner as lackluster Paris Saint-Germain beat Brest 2-1 in the French league on Saturday.
Six minutes after replacing Edinson Cavani, the Argentine striker turned the ball in from close range after Brest failed to clear a cross from the left.
It was Icardi’s ninth goal in 10 games since joining on a season’s loan from Inter Milan.
Angel Di Maria put PSG ahead late in the first half with an excellent finish but forward Samuel Grandsir equalized in the 72nd.
Sergio Rico started his first game in goal for PSG after Keylor Navas was hurt in the pre-match warmup, going off with what appeared to be an adductor injury.
Rico made an early save from midfielder Mathias Autret after PSG midfielder Marco Verratti gave the ball away.
Midway through the first half, Rico tried to dribble out from his goal but messed up a pass to the wing and was almost lobbed by midfielder Yoann Court, who also went close with a shot into the side-netting as PSG struggled.
But Di Maria made the difference in the 39th minute, latching onto Julian Draxler’s excellent pass from the halfway line and speeding into the penalty area before coolly clipping the ball over Gautier Larsonneur.
After Rico was forced into another save, Grandsir netted following good work by the impressive Court.
PSG is nine points ahead of second-place Angers and 11 points clear of third-place Lille.
Angers drew 0-0 at Reims and Lille was held 0-0 by Metz.
Resurgent Monaco beat Dijon 1-0 to move up to eighth place.
Islam Slimani collected a pass from strike partner Wissam Ben Yedder and flicked the ball into the path of onrushing Russia midfielder Aleksandr Golovin, who finished with a low shot in the 43rd.
Monaco was in the relegation zone earlier this season.
Strasbourg climbed to 16th after a 4-1 win against last-place Nimes.
Striker Ludovic Ajorque put Strasbourg ahead early in the first half and the home side had a penalty decision reversed after referee Ruddy Buquet reviewed video footage of the incident.
On the stroke of halftime, Ajorque’s cross from the left was volleyed in by South Africa striker Lebo Mothiba. Midfielder Dimitri Lienard and Mothiba added goals in the second half.
Lyon will be without injured top scorer Memphis Depay for the trip to Marseille, which sees coach Rudi Garcia return to the club he coached for three seasons.
Nantes is at home to Saint-Etienne in a match featuring two sides with 18 league titles between them — but none since Nantes’ eighth crown in 2001.
Rennes also plays Amiens and Montpellier hosts Toulouse.