Paris Saint-Germain left it late to beat Nice 2-1 at Parc des Princes and return to the top of the Ligue 1 table.
Christophe Galtier remains unbeaten as manager but it was tough against his former side, requiring a goal from substitute Kylian Mbappe to secure victory against the early season strugglers.
Nice had the better of the opening ten minutes, but PSG came close to breaking the deadlock with Lionel Messi’s free-kick, although his 30-yard strike bounced just wide of the post.
Ross Barkley, on loan at Nice from Chelsea, was set to run at Mario Lemina on goal but was well lined up by the retreating Marquinhos and the hosts were let off the hook by their insanely high line.
PSG took the lead after half an hour when Messi danced his way through the Nice defence, eventually fouling Dante and the Argentine rising to fire home a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area.
Messi almost doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time with a stinging strike from 18 yards, but Kasper Schmeichel was able to push past in time.
Just after the restart, however, Nice found an equalizer. Youcef Atal’s cross deflected between and over both Marquinhos and Nordi Mukiele, allowing Gaetano Laborde to head home from close range.
Another ball from Atal caused panic in the PSG box a few minutes later and the visitors were lucky that Melvin Bard fired over his weaker right foot.
Vitinha and Neymar both fired wide at the end of quick PSG counter-attacks, while Messi somehow picked out Nuno Mendes with a through ball, only for the defender to be denied by the feet of Schmeichel.
And Nice’s resistance subsided with less than ten minutes remaining when Mukiele won the ball back high up the pitch and his cross was swept by Mbappe to steal the win.
PSG vs Nice player ratings, Ligue 1
1. PSG (3-4-3)
GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma – 5/10 – Should probably have commanded his box a bit better in the lead up to the equaliser.
CB: Nordi Mukiele – 6/10 – Bombed on to support Hakimi well. Caught out for Nice’s equaliser, however
CB: Marquinhos – 5/10 – Similarly lost concentration to allow Laborde to level the scoring.
CB: Sergio Ramos – 6/10 – Endured a quiet evening despite of Nice’s joys down his side.
RM: Achraf Hakimi – 5/10 – His runs helped open the game up and create space for Messi but he was ineffective on the ball and in his own half.
CM: Vitinha – 5/10 – Was too safe with his distribution when his forward teammates were making darting runs.
CM: Fabian Ruiz – 5/10 – Shied away from possession at times. Messi and Neymar had to come deep to retrieve the ball too often.
LM: Juan Bernat – 6/10 – Got to the byline almost every time PSG went forward.
RF: Lionel Messi – 8/10 – Was in his own groove and was rewarded with a wonderful goal. A lot of his teammates weren’t on his level.
LF: Neymar – 4/10 – Little of the trickery Neymar pulled off worked. Would have been better off playing either a simpler or more intense game.
CF: Hugo Ekitike – 6/10 – Showed flashes of quality but didn’t quite seem on the same wavelength as his superstar teammates, unsure whether to hold the ball up or run in behind.
SUB: Kylian Mbappe (59′ for Ekitike) – 7/10
SUB: Nuno Mendes (59′ for Bernat) – 5/10
SUB: Renato Sanches (72′ for Fabian) – N/A
SUB: Pablo Sarabia (88′ for Messi) – N/A
SUB: Danilo Pereira (88′ for Sanches) – N/A
Manager: Christophe Galtier – 5/10 – PSG were slow and laborious for the most part, and were quite fortunate to walk away with the points.
2. Nice (4-2-3-1)
GK: Kasper Schmeichel (5); RB: Youcef Atal (7), CB: Mattia Viti (5), CB: Dante (5), LB: Melvin Bard (5); CM: Pablo Rosario (6); CM: Mario Lemina (7), RM: Ross Barkley (6), AM: Aaron Ramsey (4), LM: Sofiane Diop (6); CF: Gaetan Laborde (7)
Subs: Khephren Thuram-Ulien (6), Nicolas Pepe (5), Jordan Lotomba (N/A), Alexis Beka Beka (N/A), Andy Delort (N/A)
Manager: Lucien Favre – 7/10
Player of the Match – Lionel Messi