Soccer-PSG beat Brest 2-0 to restore 11-point lead at the top

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v Brest - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - January 15, 2022 Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe in action with Brest's Christophe Herelle REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reuters) - Paris St Germain recovered from a shaky start to regain an 11-point lead in Ligue 1 as goals by Kylian Mbappe and Thilo Kehrer gave them a 2-0 home victory against Stade Brestois on Saturday.

Mbappe and Kehrer found the back of the net either side of the interval to put the capital side on 50 points from 21 games a day after second-placed Nice beat Nantes 2-1.

The result left Brest in 13th place on 25 points.

Third-placed Olympique de Marseille will move level on 39 points with Nice if they beat champions Lille at the Stade Velodrome on Sunday.

RC Lens are fourth with 33 points after Seko Fofana's stoppage-time goal earned the northerners a 2-1 comeback win at bottom side St Etienne earlier on Saturday.

At the Parc des Princes, PSG were missing Lionel Messi, who is still recovering from a COVID-19 infection, and had to cope with the last-minute absence of goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

PSG had won their previous eight league games against Brest but the visitors got off to a good start and it took a great save from Gianluigi Donnarumma to deny Irvin Cardona early on.

Brest, looking for their first top-flight win against PSG since 1985, had three shots on target in the opening 20 minutes.

It was Mbappe, however, who broke the deadlock in the 32nd with a clinical low shot from 16 metres for his 10th Ligue 1 goal of the season as PSG increased the pressure.

Marco Verratti came close to doubling the lead three minutes into the second half but his angled shot hit the post.

PSG's Germany defender Kehrer eventually made it 2-0 in the 53rd minute when he fired home from Nuno Mendes's cutback.

Kehrer and Mbappe, who was booked for a scuffle with Hugo Magnetti in the first half, had other chances but Mauricio Pochettino's side had already wrapped a routine victory.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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