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Icardi the hero in scrappy PSG win

Sunday November 10 2019

Paris Saint-Germain's forward Mauro Icardi celebrates after scoring a goal during their Ligue 1 match against Stade Brestois 29 in Brest, France on November 9, 2019. PHOTO | DAMIEN MEYER |

Paris Saint-Germain's forward Mauro Icardi celebrates after scoring a goal during their Ligue 1 match against Stade Brestois 29 in Brest, France on November 9, 2019. PHOTO | DAMIEN MEYER |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

AFP
By AFP
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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.

"We can't score four goals each time," said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.

"I'm very happy. It's five wins in six games. I didn't expect us to have our best match, but we had to be calm and fight."

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

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

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.

"For Edi (Cavani), it wasn't easy because he's lacking rhythm," added Tuchel. "He has to manage his competition with Icardi. He is full of confidence."

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.

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