Mon, Feb 06, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Nene shines as PSG maintain their lead

Reuters, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain’s Nene, left, shoots past Evian Thonon Gaillard goalkeeper Stephan Andersen in their Ligue 1 match in Paris, France, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Nene delivered yet another man-of-the-match performance to help Paris Saint-Germain secure a 3-1 comeback win over visitors Evian Thonon Gaillard on Saturday as they maintained a three-point lead at the top of Ligue 1.

The Brazilian attacking midfielder canceled out Cedric Cambon’s first-half opener and netted a penalty, before Kevin Gameiro added the third goal a minute from time to give the leaders 49 points from 22 games.

“We really fought after the break because our first half was bad,” Nene told French TV channel Foot Plus. “I’m happy to score, but just because it helps the team.”

Second-placed Montpellier Herault kept pace after Geoffrey Dernis gave them a 1-0 home victory over Stade Brestois 29.

The AS Saint-Etienne v Lorient game was abandoned after only 10 minutes because of a frozen pitch.

It was also below freezing at the Parc des Princes, but the game went ahead, although it took more than 45 minutes for PSG to warm up, with Italy midfielder Thiago Motta making his debut.

Evian took a 1-0 lead into the break after Cambon headed home from close range, but PSG, who have won their three league games under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, piled on the pressure in the second half.

Nene was set up by Jeremy Menez just outside the box and he slalomed through the defense, before beating Stephan Andersen.

With 11 minutes left, Menez was tripped in the box and Nene converted the resulting penalty, with Gameiro putting the result beyond doubt in the 89th minute with his first league goal in almost two months.

Montpellier still trail PSG by three points after edging past Brest.

Remy Cabella’s shot took a deflection off Dernis’s back and into the net six minutes before the break and it was all Montpellier needed to secure their third successive Ligue 1 win.

Stade Rennais remained sixth on 36 points after a goalless draw at AS Nancy-Lorraine, while Toulouse, in seventh place, lost 2-0 at Girondins de Bordeaux.

The hosts took a first-minute lead through Brazilian Jussie and added a second five minutes before the break courtesy of Ludovic Obraniak. Toulouse were reduced to 10 men three minutes before the break when midfielder Moussa Sissoko was sent off.

In Saturday’s other matches, Dijon FCO lost 2-1 at home to Valenciennes, while AC Ajaccio drew 1-1 with OGC Nice.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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