Football

Paris St Germain ready for Real: Verratti

French side's midfielder rested along with Cavani in 1-0 win over Toulouse

LIGUE 1
TOULOUSE PARIS ST GERMAIN
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Paris St Germain were made to wait as Neymar struck in the second half to earn a 1-0 win at Toulouse on Sunday morning (Singapore time) that extended the Ligue 1 leaders’ advantage to 12 points.

The Brazil forward struck in the 68th minute to put PSG on 65 points from 25 games with arch-rivals and second-placed AS Monaco on 53 after Stevan Jovetic inspired them to a 4-0 win at Angers.

Marseille are third on 52 after a 2-2 draw at St Etienne on Friday.

Toulouse, who are 15th on 26 points and only one point above safety, held firm in the first half thanks to a spirited performance by keeper Alban Lafont.

But like most of PSG’s opponents this season, they eventually cracked even if coach Unai Emery had rested top striker Edinson Cavani ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 clash at Real Madrid.

Neymar collected Angel Di Maria’s cross and found the back of the net as his curled shot was slightly deflected by Toulouse captain Issa Diop.

He came close to doubling the tally 10 minutes later but his right-foot effort crashed on to the post.

Neymar hit the woodwork again in the 80th when his shot struck Lafont’s crossbar as PSG finished strongly. 

Emery confirmed after the game that defensive midfielder Thiago Motta would not be fit in time to face the reigning European champions.

“I think we’re ready for Real. We have a 50-per-cent chance, like Real,” Marco Verratti, who was rested against Toulouse, told Canal+. – AFP, REUTERS

Paris Saint-Germainneymar