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Emery lauds PSG players after victory over Nice

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Unai Emery is trying to lead Paris Saint-Germain to the their fifth French championship in six years. Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery on Sunday lavished praise on his players after their 2-1 win at Nice moved them 17 points clear of second placed Monaco who have eight games remaining to close the gap.

 


It was PSG’s third consecutive victory since Real Madrid dispatched them from the Uefa Champions League on 6 March.

"After the defeat against Madrid, we have reacted very well,” said Emery. “I'm pleased to see how the team has responded after that loss.

"We were lacking that little something to forget the defeat. Perhaps a tiny element of it will never leave. But we've won against Metz, Angers, and now here and I like that."

Dani Alves got PSG's winner eight minutes from time.

The 34-year-old, who is 1.72 metres tall, ghosted into the centre-forward position and outleaped the defence to head in a cross from Adrien Rabiot.

Allan Saint-Maximin had given Nice the lead after 17 minutes at the Allianz Riveiera with a deft finish which was just the fifth touch of a move that began on the Nice goal line.

Angel di Maria levelled four minutes later. The Argentina international dribbled through a thicket of Nice defenders and fired past goalkeeper Walter Benitez.

Both sides had chances to recapture the ascendance but neither could capitalise until the veteran defender's intervention.

“Nice started the match very well,” said PSG skipper Thiago Silva. “They’ve got lots of good players. We got into the match better in the second-half and had to be strong to come back and win.”

Dante, his Nice counterpart, said: "We played really well against an experienced team which can hold onto the ball.

“We did lots of things very well and that’s what we’ve got to hold onto until the end of the season.”