Kylian Mbappe rescued a late victory for Paris Saint-Germain on their return to Ligue 1 action as his injury-time penalty seized a 2-1 win against Strasbourg on Wednesday.
The league leaders had looked destined for a draw at Parc des Princes after captain Marquinhos had cancelled out his opener with an own goal and Neymar had been sent off for consecutive bookings.
But a 96th-minute spot-kick for the France international, just under a fortnight on from his hat-trick in defeat for France in the World Cup final, ensured his side avoided dropping points for the third time this season.
It marked a major reprieve for Christophe Galtier's side, who were without Qatar 2022 winner Lionel Messi in the French capital, and struggled to convert their early dominance into a more comfortable result.
The home side enjoyed early dominance and took the lead in the 14th minute when Marquinhos was able to drift easily onto a Neymar free-kick from the left and head home.
Amid foul weather conditions, Strasbourg found a foothold in the game, and PSG's complacency cost them in sharp fashion after the interval, with their captain accidentally diverting a cross from Adrien Thomasson past Gianluigi Donnarumma and into his own net.
Matters went from bad to worse shortly afterwards when Neymar was shown a yellow for clipping Thomasson's face with his outstretched hand, before a dive from an Alexander Djiku challenge in the box just a minute later saw him given his marching orders.
His dismissal appeared to have exhausted the hosts' capacity to snatch back momentum, but when Mbappe was deemed to have been downed in the penalty area by Gerzino Nyamsi four minutes into stoppage time, they were handed a lifeline.
Mbappe kept his composure, as he did on three occasions in the World Cup final, to spare his side's blushes by scoring from the spot to keep PSG firmly at the summit and allowing them to end 2022 on a winning note.
What does it mean? Mbappe back in business
Having made history with a hat-trick despite defeat in Doha earlier this month, the France forward looked a little fatigued even as his side exerted the early pressure in Paris.
But much as he did for his country just under a fortnight ago, Mbappe eventually gave them the creative boost they needed in the final stretch, taking his Ligue 1 tally for the season to 13.
Neymar and Marquinhos go from hero to zero
Having combined well for PSG's opener, the Brazil duo did not appear to be showing any rust from their own World Cup adventure that ended at the quarter-final stage, but their return soon turned sour.
Marquinhos became the first PSG player to score and to concede an own goal in the same match since Dani Alves in April 2019, while Neymar's red card was his fifth in 107 Ligue 1 games.
Strasbourg suffer late agony
Head coach Julien Stephan will hope somebody spares a thought for his Strasbourg side after they came close to taking rare points off the champions this season.
The Alsace side have scored in their last five games in Ligue 1, their longest streak this season, but it was still not enough to dodge a sixth match in a row without a win.
Key Opta facts
- PSG are now unbeaten in 32 Ligue 1 games against Strasbourg (W25 D7), the best record of any Ligue 1 team against another without losing.
- Strasbourg have just one win this season after 16 Ligue 1 matches (3-2 at Angers in October). In the history of the league, 23 of the 25 teams who have posted a similar or lower record at this stage have been relegated at the end of the season.
- PSG end 2022 unbeaten at home in Ligue 1 through the whole calendar year (W15, D3) for the fourth time in the last 10 seasons (after 2013, 2015 and 2017), having achieved this only twice in their history prior to that (1993 and 1994).
- Marquinhos scored his 24th Ligue 1 goal, eight more than any other defender since 2013-14. He has scored 15 headed goals, only Sergio Ramos (17) has scored more in the top-five European leagues since 2013-14.
- Neymar delivered his 47th assist in Ligue 1, no player has produced more since he arrived in Ligue 1 in 2017-18.
PSG make the New Year's Day trip to Lens in a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday while Strasbourg return home to host Troyes on Monday.