Paris St-Germain kept their Ligue 1 title hopes alive when Neymar scored and set up another goal as they snapped RC Lens’s 13-match unbeaten run in a 2-1 home win on Saturday.
Neymar netted in the first half and crossed for Marquinhos to score after the break to put PSG on 75 points with three games left in their title chase, one point behind Lille who beat Nice 2-0 in the late game.
Promoted RC Lens, who reduced the arrears just past the hour mark through Ignatius Ganago, stayed fifth on 56 points, ahead of Olympique de Marseille on goals scored.
“It was hard, especially in the second half. Before the game we needed four wins from four games so we’ll take the three points, that’s the most important,” said PSG centre back Presnel Kimpembe.
PSG, who visit Manchester City on Tuesday aiming to overturn a 2-1 deficit in their Champions League semi-final tie, rested Kylian Mbappe and started with Marco Verratti on the bench.
Neymar took charge and put PSG ahead after 33 minutes when he fired home from inside the box after being set up by Julian Draxler, who had dispossessed the snoozing Facundo Medina.
Lens forward Arnaud Kalimuendo was a threat to the PSG defence but the visitors lacked efficiency up front.
Just before the hour, PSG doubled the advantage as Marquinhos rose above Medina to head Neymar’s whipped cross home with the hosts seemingly heading towards a routine victory.
Lens, however, made sure the reigning French champions stayed on their toes as Ganago found the back of the net with a half-volley from Jonathan Clauss’s cross.
Lens, who played boldly throughout the match, left the pitch disappointed.
“There’s a lot of regrets. We let them play in the first half, conceding a soft goal,” said midfielder Seko Fofana.
“We tried and tried but then they scored a second. We shook them up, we played with great character.” On Sunday, third-placed Monaco, who have 71 points, and Olympique Lyonnais in fourth (67) meet in the principality. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)