The Paris Saint-Germain defence had Lionel Messi and Neymar to thank as the star forwards dragged their team to a 4-3 victory over a plucky Troyes side on Saturday.
Christophe Galtier’s side enjoyed the lion’s share of possession as usual, but they were sloppy at the back and gifted Troyes nearly the same number of shots on goal throughout the game.
It was the visitors who drew first blood inside three minutes as Mama Balde volleyed Troyes into a surprise lead, and it looked like they might be on the cusp of a second after multiple counter-attacks had the Parisian back line shaking.
At the other end, the Troyes defence was fantastic at times but they were breached 24 minutes in through Carlos Soler, who flashed his composure to round the goalkeeper and hand Neymar yet another assist.
PSG couldn’t add to that in the first half and they were made to pay after the break as Balde thundered in a second seven minutes after the restart.
Troyes’ lead would not last long, however, as Messi bagged a long-range screamer three minutes later to restore parity.
It was after that moment of quality that PSG took control. The Argentine turned creator as he set up Neymar for the third goal on the hour mark, before Kylian Mbappe got in on the fun with a penalty ten minutes from time.
Troyes did not lie down and set up a nervy finale through Ante Palaversa, who headed home two minutes from time.
But PSG would hold on until the full-time whistle, restoring their five-point lead at the summit of Ligue 1 with a win that was far uglier than it had any right to be.