Week 28 review: PSG prepare well; Rennes steal fifth
PSG stayed 14 points clear with a 2-0 win in Troyes to prepare for Tuesday's clash with Real Madrid; Rennes claimed a 2-0 win in Amiens to pip Montpellier and Nantes, who drew 1-1 with OL and OM respectively, to fifth place.
There has been plenty of drama at PSG in the lead-up to the return leg of their crunch UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie with Real Madrid - mostly surrounding Neymar Jr's ankle injury, surgery and two-month predicted absence - but Unai Emery's men got on with the job on Saturday afternoon, claiming a deserved 2-0 win in Troyes thanks to goals from Angel Di Maria and Christopher Nkunku.
"This was an important match following two games against Marseille [both of which PSG won 3-0]. I'm very happy. We maintained our level, we didn't concede chances and we were patient. The players' mentality was excellent. We were able to rest players and we're ready for Tuesday," said Emery's who opted to rest star striker Edinson Cavani and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappé ahead of Los Merengues' visit on Tuesday. "Marquinhos is fine, he trained today. [Marco] Verratti has a bit of pain. He could have played today but we need him for Tuesday. Kylian? The doctor said the best thing was to rest him."
Jardim focused on strong finish
Meanwhile Monaco firmed in second by stretching their Ligue 1 Conforama unbeaten run to 13 matches with a 2-1 win over Bordeaux, Stevan Jovetic getting his sixth in 12 appearances since signing in January and Rony Lopes firing home high and hard from a tight angle to cancel out Valentin Vada's fine effort.
"I hope to have a good weekend. Friday has been good anyway, but the most important thing is to say that Monaco played really well, with lots of quality," said coach Leonardo Jardim, whose side now sit four point clear of OM in third. "Putting pressure on Lyon and Marseille? We put pressure on ourselves. We don't think about the others. There are 10 matches left and they are 10 finals."
Stade Rennais FC moved into the top five for the first time this season, Sabri Lamouchi's side clinching a 2-0 win in Amiens - their third win in four outings - thanks to Wahbi Khazri's ninth of the season and Ismaila Sarr's third.
The Brittany side have a one-point lead over Montpellier in sixth, Michel Der Zakarian's men conceding a 1-1 draw at home to fourth-placed Olympique Lyonnais - who are now six matches without a Ligue 1 Conforama win - as well as FC Nantes, whose long-standing grip on fifth place was relinquished as Florian Thauvin scored a last-minute 16th of the season to rescue a 1-1 draw for Marseille after Léo Dubois had scored a stunning opener.
Cyprien, Beric on song
Wylan Cyprien starred for OGC Nice as they broke a five-match winless run in the league with a 2-1 win over LOSC. The talented midfielder set up Mario Balotelli for his 14th of the season before himself volleying home a superb winner to cancel out Luiz Araujo's reply.
Robert Beric once again saved Saint-Etienne's skin, missing a penalty but levelling matters twice to secure a 2-2 draw at home to Dijon and avoid defeat for talismanic club captain Loïc Perrin's 400th appearance in the famous green shirt. The Slovenian now has five goals since returning from a loan to Anderlecht in January
Caen, Angers come up with the goods
SM Caen celebrated their qualification for the Coupe de France semi-finals with a 2-0 home win over Strasbourg, while Angers SCO took an important step away from the drop zone with a 3-0 win at home to EA Guingamp, who slip to 11th on the back of just one win in their last nine in all competitions.
Toulouse kept their heads above water with a third-consecutive draw, 1-1 away to bottom club FC Metz. Kelvin Amian bagged his first-ever Ligue 1 Conforama goal to press home the visitors' advantage - they were a man up from the 43rd minute after Julian Palmieri saw red - and cancel out Nolan Roux's opener (his 11th of the season).