2017/18 French Ligue 1, Regular Season
  • Allan Saint-Maximin (17')
  • Ángel Di María (21')
  • Dani Alves (82')

Dani Alves leaves it late as PSG defeat Nice for ninth consecutive Ligue 1 win

Dani Alves' first Ligue 1 goal maintained Paris Saint-Germain's stranglehold on the title as they rode their luck to win 2-1 at Nice.

Alves struck with a header eight minutes from time to complete a comeback that secured a ninth consecutive league win after Mario Balotelli rattled the crossbar at the other end

Allan Saint-Maximin fired Nice into an early lead, but Angel di Maria levelled to leave a keenly contested game in the balance.

But it was Alves, the Brazilian full-back, who eventually won it just as Nice sensed an opportunity to end PSG's run.

The visitors might have gone ahead with 14 minutes played when striker Edinson Cavani was denied from close range by the post, and full-back Yuri Berchiche forced a save from keeper Walter Benitez seconds later.

In the event, it was Nice who struck the first blow when Saint-Maximin fired them into a 17th-minute lead after a pacy counter attack.

However, they held their advantage for just four minutes when Di Maria rounded off a similar break to level, and they might have gone ahead had midfielder Adrien Rabiot managed to hit the target with a free header 11 minutes before the break.

Saint-Maximin forced a 50th-minute save from goalkeeper Alphonse Areola five minutes after the restart, but PSG continued to threaten on the break and Kylian Mbappe saw a 56th-minute strike ruled out for offside after pouncing on Di Maria's pass.

Alves called upon Benitez with a speculative overhead effort after initially miskicking as he attempted to volley towards goal, but Areola had to beat away Balotelli's 63rd-minute shot as play switched rapidly from end to end.

Balotelli blazed a 70th-minute free kick over the bar but was unfortunate not to score with 15 minutes remaining when he beat Areola to Wylan Cyprien's corner, only to see his header come back off the bar.

Mbappe should have put the visitors ahead three minutes later, but could not hit the target from Di Maria's inviting cross.

Alves was no so wasteful when he met Rabiot's 82nd-minute delivery with a downward header to win it.