2016/17 French Ligue 1, Regular Season
  • Ángel Di María (28', 84')

Di Maria double sees PSG past Angers to keep heat on Monaco

Angel Di Maria, centre, is mobbed by his PSG teammates after scoring. AP Photo/David Vincent

Angel Di Maria's double helped Paris Saint-Germain pass a stern test against Angers as they kept up the pressure on Ligue 1 leaders Monaco.

Angers coach Stephane Moulin had warned pre-match that an 8-0 defeat was on the cards if PSG were at their best, but his side held their own.

Though they trailed at half-time to Angel Di Maria's superb free kick, they saw a Cheikh N'Doye goal disallowed and then had several half-chances before Di Maria netted again late on.

Though PSG predictably began the match on the front foot, Angers could easily have gone in front 10 minutes in. Nicolas Pepe's long-range curling shot was just too close to Kevin Trapp, who tipped over, and from the resulting corner Ismael Traore's header was deflected wide.

Di Maria went close at the other end with an instinctive swing of his left foot from long range, the ball dipping just over, and that was just a warning shot from the Argentina star.

On 28 minutes he stepped up for a free kick, cheaply won by Javier Pastore 30 yards out, and curled a superb effort over the wall and out of keeper Alexandre Letellier's reach into the corner of the net.

Baptiste Santamaria forced a low save from Trapp before Angers suffered further frustration. Famara Diedhiou appealed in vain for a penalty after tangling with Serge Aurier, but the forward was ruled to be culpable and N'Doye's finish from the loose ball counted for nothing.

Edinson Cavani had a golden chance to double PSG's lead before half-time but the in-form Uruguay striker sliced wide when played through by Pastore.

After a quiet opening to the second half, Thomas Mangani's off-target shot took a helpful deflection off a PSG defender which ensured Trapp had to be alert to the danger. Santamaria was then unable to bring an awkward ball from Diedhiou under control when surrounded by defenders.

Trapp brilliantly saved N'Doye's header and all Angers' endeavour came to nought as Di Maria made the game safe with six minutes to go following an incisive break.

Substitute Lucas Moura exchanged passes with Cavani and fed Di Maria on the left side of the penalty area, where he took a touch and calmly stroked the ball low past Letellier and inside the near post.

The result means Monaco will go into Saturday's clash with Dijon only level on points with their principal title rivals, albeit still top of the table by virtue of goal difference.