A second-half goal from Brazilian winger Lucas Moura gave 10-man Paris Saint-Germain a 1-0 win at Lille OSC on Friday, their first victory in a Ligue 1 opener since their new Qatari owners took over in 2011.
The three-time Ligue 1 champions were a player down after 30 minutes when midfielder Adrien Rabiot was given his marching orders for two yellow cards in the space of five minutes.
Rabiot picked up the first on 22 minutes for a dangerous tackle on Lille midfielder Florent Balmont, and minutes later was sent off by referee Fredy Fautrel for a foul on defender Sebastian Corchia.
In the sole Ligue 1 game on Friday night, PSG had been struggling to contain Lille, who finished eighth last season and were playing their first competitive match under new coach Herve Renard.
However, the misfortune of Rabiot, who has been no stranger to controversy, spurred Laurent Blanc’s side into action.
Rabiot, who had a spat with Zlatan Ibrahimovic during a friendly against Chelsea in July, had been favored over Thiago Motta, despite several run-ins with coach Laurent Blanc at the end of last season.
Argentine playmaker Javier Pastore filled in for injured Swede Ibrahimovic while awaiting the availability of new Argentine recruit Angel di Maria.
PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who arrived from Eintracht Frankfurt this summer, was in goal at the expense of Italian Salvatore Sirigu.
After Rabiot’s expulsion, Lille’s Eric Bauthiac stepped up, but failed to convert the resulting free-kick, which David Luiz and Trapp managed to contain.
Lucas, who scored seven Ligue 1 goals last season, finally got the breakthrough after 57 minutes to give PSG their first away win in a season opener in 19 years.
At the heart of the action, Lucas passed to Edinson Cavani, who pushed on to Blaise Matuidi, returning the ball to Lucas for a brilliant solo run through the Lille defense and past goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama into an empty net.
Despite their numerical inferiority, PSG were never really worried by Lille.
The capital club are bidding for their fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title this season having won every domestic trophy available last season.
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