The victory took PSG 10 points clear at the top of the French table, and the capital club remain unbeaten so far this campaign, having won 10 of their 12 matches to date.
However, it was by no means a vintage performance by Laurent Blanc’s side, who thrived during the opening 10 minutes before slowing significantly as Rennes bedded in.
Blanc, who had rotated his squad with an eye on Tuesday evening’s bout with Real Madrid in the Champions League, introduced Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta on 66 minutes as he looked to take the initiative.
It was Verratti who proved decisive, slicing open the Rennes defence with a remarkable long-range pass before Lucas Moura beat Fallou Diagne before flicking the ball back for Di Maria to volley into the bottom corner.
Speaking after the match, Blaise Matuidi insisted that the Argentine’s goal will give him a major boost ahead of his return to the Bernabeu—and the club that sold him in 2014—on Tuesday.
“Di Maria is a great player and (the goal) will do him good,” Matuidi began, speaking to BeIN Sports.
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“I hope he can have a big match on Tuesday, for his return to the Bernabeu.”