Football

Kurzawa saves PSG, as coach Pochettino misses match due to Covid-19

A rare Layvin Kurzawa goal was enough for Paris Saint-Germain to beat Angers 1-0 yesterday morning (Singapore time) and go top of Ligue 1, despite coach Mauricio Pochettino testing positive for Covid-19 before the game.

Kurzawa scored with 20 minutes left at the Stade Raymond Kopa to send PSG provisionally two points clear of Lyon, who can reclaim top spot if they beat Metz this morning.

Assistants Jesus Perez and Miguel D'Agostino took charge of the PSG side with Pochettino having to self-isolate after the announcement last Friday that he had contracted the virus.

The Argentinian's positive test followed those of three PSG players - Brazilian Rafinha, Germany's Thilo Kehrer and French Under-21 international Colin Dagba - in the last week.

However, Neymar made his return to the starting line-up in Angers for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in a defeat by Lyon a month ago.

With Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria also starting behind Moise Kean in attack, it was a strong PSG line-up. But they appeared to play within themselves against an Angers side who sit seventh, until fullback Kurzawa volleyed home his first goal of the season.

Meanwhile, Marseille's hopes of staying in the title race were dealt another blow as Florian Thauvin missed a penalty in a shock 2-1 home defeat by struggling Nimes, thanks to a double by winger Niclas Eliasson.

"All due respect to Nimes, we are Olympique de Marseille. We're supposed to be aiming at a Champions League spot and we cannot play that kind of game," said defender Alvaro Gonzalez. - AFP, REUTERS

Football