An improved second-half display saw leaders Paris Saint-Germain win 1-0 at bottom club Troyes to extend their margin at the top to ten points over second-placed Olympique de Marseille.
ESTAC Troyes 0-1 Paris Saint-Germain
Troyes began brightly and in the ninth minute Stéphane Darbion crashed a shot off Salvatore Sirigu's near post after a neat pass from Benjamin Nivet. At the other end Lucas, playing his first Ligue 1 game since early March, had a smart diagonal shot pushed away by Yohann Thuram-Ulien.
PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti named six of the eleven that started against Barcelona in midweek. Ligue 1 top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic was ruled out through suspension, meaning a second Ligue 1 start in succession for Kévin Gameiro, while midfielder Matuidi returned from a European ban to face the club where he started his career.
Troyes, beaten only twice in their previous ten Ligue 1 matches and unbeaten in their last five at home, continued to press and Sirigu got down well to save from Marcos. Sirigu was called into action again to deny Fabien Camus after he'd cut inside Maxwell as Jean-Marc Furlan's side - beaten 4-0 at the Parc des Princes earlier this season – refused to be overawed. On the half-hour Sirigu's services were required once more to keep out Troyes top scorer Nivet.
PSG picked things up after the restart with Ezequiel Lavezzi's attempts to break the deadlock floundering on Thuram. Minutes later Matuidi failed to hit the target after a Mamadou Sakho header.
It took Ancelotti's side until the 65th minute to score the crucial goal as they secured a third straight Ligue 1 win with all of them accompanied by a clean sheet for Sirigu. Gregory Van der Wiel's deep cross from the right wasn't dealt with by the Troyes defence and Matuidi first-timed it past Thuram. The influential Matuidi didn't celebrate the goal as a mark of respect for his former club and for Furlan, who handed himl his first Ligue 1 start in 2005-2006.
Sirigu wasn't threatened after the Matuidi goal as PSG looked more likely to score a second than Troyes to equalise. Javier Pastore, the Paris goalscorer at the Camp Nou in midweek, had a powerful late effort saved by Thuram.
Whether PSG's advantage at the top remains in double figures at the end of Week 32 is contingent on the result of Sunday night's encounter when OM travel to in-form Lille.