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Di Maria not at his best but scores the decider as PSG beat Nantes

Di Maria not at his best but scores the decider as PSG beat Nantes
From ESPN - January 14, 2018

Paris Saint-Germain opened up an 11-point at the Ligue 1 summit with a 1-0 win away at Nantes on Sunday but were made to work hard by Claudio Ranieri's well-organised home side at an atmospheric Stade de la Beaujoire as Angel Di Maria scored the only goal of the game.

Positives

Although it was not a good performance, ultimately, it is only the result that matters. PSG took all three points and capitalised on Monaco and Lyon being held to draws.

The clean sheet, the second of 2018, was deserved as Alphonse Areola and Presnel Kimpembe were among those to perform well at the back for the French capital outfit.

Les Parisiens might not have been prolific in front of goal but they were in control in the midfield, certainly in the first half, with Marco Verratti, Adrien Rabiot and Giovani Lo Celso all combining well.

Negatives

Di Maria was on target for the goal but otherwise off target in a largely disappointing showing that saw him miss an open goal by clipping the crossbar instead.

PSG walked away with all three points but rarely tested Ciprian Tatarusanu and could easily have been punished for that lack of creativity.

Emiliano Sala actually put the ball in the back of the net for Nantes in the second half and although debatable, it was ultimately ruled out. The Ligue 1 leaders would have struggled to respond if the Argentinian's effort had stood.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- Unai Emery's starting XI, while logical in the absence of Neymar, Thiago Motta and Javier Pastore, was struggling early in the second half. Although the Spaniard was unable to make the necessary changes to produce a second goal, he did make the right adjustments to guard Di Maria's first-half strike and turn it into three points.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alphonse Areola, 7 -- The French shot stopper was alert when he needed to be and made a couple of smart saves to ensure a second successive clean sheet across all competitions.

DF Dani Alves, 6 -- The Brazil international put in a solid but unspectacular display but was booked on the hour mark. The South American was pushed forward when Thomas Meunier was brought on to replace Edinson Cavani.

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