Pereira heads late winner as leader PSG wins 2-1 at Lorient

PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain needed a late goal from defender Danilo Pereira on Sunday to scrape a 2-1 win at Lorient and restore its five-point lead at the top of the French league.

Pereira headed home Neymar's corner in the 81st minute as unbeaten PSG maintained its comfortable gap over second-place Lens.

Lionel Messi was rested for the game because of some inflammation in his Achilles tendon. The Argentina star, who will look to win the World Cup for the first time in his stellar career, is expected to resume training next week.

Messi was replaced in attack by 20-year-old Hugo Ekitike, who marked a rare start by setting up Neymar's opening goal after nine minutes. Neymar's 11th league goal moved him level with teammate Kylian Mbappe atop the scoring charts.

Fourth-place Lorient equalized in the 53rd through club top scorer Terem Moffi's ninth goal of the campaign.

Midfielder Enzo Le Fee sent the Nigeria striker running clear, veteran central defender Sergio Ramos didn't cover him and Moffi fired past goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Moffi hit the crossbar shortly after as Lorient got on top, but then failed to pick up Pereira from Neymar's corner.

In later matches, third-place Rennes visited seventh-place Lille and Lyon's new coach Laurent Blanc looked for a third straight win when his side visited Marseille.

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Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press