PSG scored twice after having midfielder Edouard Cissé sent off for a second yellow card in the 48th minute.
The hosts went in front when the Colombia defender Mario Yepes beat the offside trap in the 67th minute.
The Nantes goalkeeper Mickael Landreau then handled a pass from one of his defenders with 15 minutes to go, causing an indirect free-kick inside the box from which the Portugal striker Pauleta doubled their advantage.Nantes played the last two minutes with 10 men after defender David Leray received a second caution.
Girondins Bordeaux remained third, a point behind PSG, with a 1-0 victory at bottom club Metz.
The Brazilian midfielder Fernando scored the only goal early in the second half.
Metz had defender Mehdi Meniri sent off in the 63rd minute for a second bookable offence.
Loic Perrin, Vincent Hognon and David Hellebuyck gave St Etienne a 3-0 home win over Le Mans.
The victory was enough to lift the 10-times champions up to fourth.
Late goals from strikers Gaston Curbelo and Elie Kroupi earned Nancy a 2-0 triumph at third-from-bottom Sochaux.
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