Teenager Adrien Rabiot came off the bench to spur French title-holders Paris Saint-Germain past promoted En Avant de Guingamp 2-0 on Saturday, as the midfielder netted a decisive stoppage-time goal at the Parc des Princes.
PSG’s stuttering start to the season appeared set to continue as the woodwork twice denied Laurent Blanc’s side, but 18-year-old Rabiot struck a minute into stoppage-time, before Zlatan Ibrahimovic made the points safe.
The win takes PSG to within a point of leaders Olympique de Marseille, who were hosting third-placed AS Monaco yesterday.
Last year’s top scorer Ibrahimovic, without a goal in his opening three matches, almost opened his account for the season inside two minutes as he struck the base of Mamadou Samassa’s post from a free-kick.
Edinson Cavani then saw a glancing header at the near post turned over by Samassa, before the frame of the goal again came to Guingamp’s rescue as Thiago Silva headed the ensuing corner against the crossbar.
The visitors rarely troubled PSG except for a deflected Moustapha Diallo effort that drew a routine save out of Salvatore Sirigu, but Guingamp goalkeeper Samassa grew increasingly busier as PSG pressed to break the deadlock.
The Mali international turned away another Cavani header after the interval, before holding a low strike from Ezequiel Lavezzi, with Ibrahimovic then shooting wide after combining well with Cavani.
However, Mustapha Yatabare almost stunned the home fans as Guingamp countered against the run of play, with PSG indebted to Sirigu, the Italian expertly saving with the striker through on goal.
The visitors seemed set to come away with a commendable point, but they cracked in stoppage-time when Samassa could only claw Alex’s header into the path of Rabiot, who stabbed home from close range for his first PSG goal.
Ibrahimovic added gloss to the score when he outmuscled Jeremy Sorbon to reach a hopeful ball forward, before eluding Samassa and steering into an empty net.
“The first half was labored. If the free-kick that hit the post had gone in it could have been different. We were going to sleep in the first half, but we didn’t concede a goal, which is an improvement,” Blanc said afterwards. “We can also point out the players didn’t give up, even though there were just a few minutes left [before we scored]. They were rewarded for that.”
“We expected to suffer at the start of the season. That’s proven to be the case, but, in terms of points, we’re not doing too badly,” he added.
Olympique Lyonnais’ disastrous week was made even worse as Remi Garde’s side followed up their UEFA Champions League exit last week by crashing to a 2-1 defeat away to Evian Thonon Gaillard.
Kevin Berigaud struck two first-half goals at the Parc des Sports in Annecy as Lyon slumped to a fourth straight defeat in all competitions.
The Evian striker notched the opener on eight minutes after latching onto Cedric Barbosa’s through-ball and added to his haul just after the half-hour mark as he exchanged passes with Danish winger Daniel Wass, before slipping the ball under goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
The visitors did manage to pull a goal back through Jordan Ferri’s superb long-range strike early in the second half, but that would prove the lone bright spot for Lyon as Evian secured a deserved first win of the season to move off the foot of the Ligue 1 table.
Goals were in short supply elsewhere on Saturday, with Stade Rennais playing out a 0-0 draw with LOSC Lille Metropole, while Sochaux-Montbeliard’s clash with AC Ajaccio and Stade de Reims against Nantes also ended 0-0.
Cameroon striker Vincent Aboubakar scored against his former club Valenciennes in a 1-0 home win for Lorient, while 10-man SC Bastia triumphed 2-1 over Toulouse in Corsica.
Despite Julian Palmieri’s 36th-minute dismissal, SC Bastia took the lead just before the break through Romanian forward Claudiu Keseru.
Dane Martin Braithwaite then hauled Toulouse level on 57 minutes, but Ivorian midfielder Romaric’s first goal for his new club secured SC Bastia all three points.