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Weekend Premier League predictions

Premier League

Matuidi helps power PSG to top spot

A goal on the stroke of half-time from Blaise Matuidi was enough to separate the old rivals and grab PSG 3 points.

Paris St. Germain replaced Lyon at the top of the Ligue 1 table after sinking its title rival 1-0 at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Blaise Matuidi's goal on the stroke of halftime decided the contest in favor of PSG as Lyon fell to only its third defeat of the campaign.

The Parisians' win sees them move above both Lyon and Marseille on goal difference, with all three clubs having accumulated 35 points from 18 games.

Seeking their fourth win in five league games, the hosts created the first clear chance in the 12th minute and they needed a superb one-handed save from Remi Vercoutre to deny Javier Pastore after the Argentinian had latched onto Zlatan Ibrahimovic's clever pass.

The first serious threat Lyon posed came in the 23rd minute but Bafetimbi Gomis failed to make the most of a loose pass from PSG defender Mamadou Sakho as his first touch was poor and meant he could only toe-poke a shot straight at home goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

That was a let-off for PSG, but it survived an even bigger scare four minutes later when Lisandro Lopez got on the end of Gueida Fofana's great ball over the top before thumping a first-time volley which came back off the foot of the post.

That was the biggest talking point up to then, but it was Ibrahimovic who took center stage in the five minutes before halftime.

First the Sweden international appeared to stamp on Dejan Lovren's head, leaving the Lyon defender with a cut, then five minutes later the former Barcelona and AC Milan striker set up what would prove to be the match-winning goal.

He picked up the ball on the right wing and beat his man before delivering a pinpoint cross which the in-rushing Matuidi headed powerfully past Vercoutre into the bottom-right corner.

Ibrahimovic then nearly made it 2-0 himself 60 seconds later when he broke into the area and drilled a shot at goal, but Vercoutre was equal to the effort.

Lyon probably felt it deserved to be level at halftime, but it could have few complaints at fulltime as PSG dominated the second half in terms of chances.

Ibrahimovic was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Samuel Umtiti in the 60th minute before Vercoutre produced another good save to keep out a Pastore effort diving to his right.

Christophe Jallet then came within a whisker of making it 2-0 in the 75th minute with a right-footed effort from the edge of the box which shaved the left-hand post.

PSG continued to push for a second goal and it created another clear chance seven minutes from time when Pastore put in his countryman Ezequiel Lavezzi.

Lavezzi was unable to beat Vercoutre but it did not matter in the end as PSG had already done enough for the points.


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