Icardi strikes again to edge PSG past Brest

PARIS — Mauro Icardi came off the bench to score a late winner as Paris Saint-Germain extended their Ligue 1 lead to 10 points despite another unconvincing performance in a 2-1 victory at Brest on Saturday.

The reigning French champions, who were beaten by then-bottom club Dijon last week before scraping past Club Brugge in the Champions League, needed Icardi's ninth goal in eight games to secure the three points.

Brest, promoted from the second tier last season, caused PSG problems throughout and had levelled with 18 minutes remaining through Samuel Grandsir.

Second-placed Angers visit Reims later on Saturday, looking to cut the gap to seven points.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel saw his long injury list extended before kick-off as goalkeeper Keylor Navas pulled out of the game after suffering a thigh problem in the warm-up.

The Costa Rican joined Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, defenders Thomas Meunier and Thilo Kehrer and midfielder Ander Herrera on the sidelines.

Edinson Cavani made his first start since August, but struggled in front of goal.

The visitors claimed a 39th-minute lead as Angel Di Maria raced clear before clipping a chipped finish over Brest goalkeeper Gautier Larsonneur to score his eighth goal of the campaign.

His effort survived a VAR review for offside to send PSG into the interval ahead.

Cavani wasted two clear-cut chances in the space of three minutes just after the hour mark, and Brest made him pay.

Substitute Grandsir collected the ball inside the area and fired a low effort through goalkeeper Sergio Rico, making his Parisian debut after signing on-loan from Sevilla.

But the Spaniard redeemed himself shortly afterwards, keeping out Haris Belkebla's long-range strike.

On-loan Inter Milan striker Icardi had the final say, though, pouncing inside the six-yard box in the 85th minute to scramble the ball over the line after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's cross was only partially cleared. — AFP