Paris Saint-Germain’s Swedish forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 match at the Parc des Princes in Paris, yesterday.
PARIS: Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani both struck twice to inspire Paris Saint-Germain to a comfortable 4-0 victory over hapless Bastia and lift the capital side three points clear in Ligue 1 yesterday.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring after only 10 minutes and added a second three minutes later which broke the game wide open and put PSG in command against their Corsican visitors.
Cavani then added a brilliant third and a late penalty to carry Laurent Blanc’s unbeaten side to their seventh win in ten outings.
“We started really well and played a good match because the coach rested several players, so to win 4-0 ahead of the trip to Anderlecht (Champions League on Wednesday) is not too bad,” said PSG’s French midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
“We had some players suspended and others who came off the bench but we all gave everything for the team and it’s a great result.”
Sweden captain Ibrahimovic scored a trademark opener when he back-heeled the ball home from mid-air to give former PSG ‘keeper Michael Landreau little chance.
The former AC Milan and Barcelona marksman, who capped his maiden campaign in the capital with a league leading 30 goals, then took his tally this season to five in ten matches with a close range finish that appeared to go in off his shoulder following a good cross from Brazilian Lucas.
Blanc even had the luxury of bringing off his talisman early in the second half with one eye on the Champions League trip to Anderlecht, as last season’s quarter-finalists look to make it three wins from three in a group that also includes Benfica and Olympiakos.
Bastia came into the match having never won in 25 Ligue 1 trips to the Parc des Princes and their disastrous start ensured their winless run continued.
Cavani continued the rout with a superb individual effort on 63 minutes.
The 26-year-old Uruguayan picked up the ball on the left wing, cut inside the box and beat two defenders as well as rounding Landreau before rolling the ball into an empty goal from an acute angle. A late 89th minute Cavani penalty, confidently planted in the top right hand corner, gave the scoreline an emphatic look.
Monaco who came into the weekend as leaders ahead of PSG on goal difference must now attempt to draw level on points when they travel to second-from-bottom Sochaux on Sunday.
Four other matches are slated for later on Saturday including third-placed Lille at Montpellier, Nantes on the road at Ajaccio, Evian at home to Guingamp and fellow Brittany side Rennes taking on Valenciennes.
On Friday, Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina shrugged off his World Cup jet lag to star in Nice’s 1-0 win over Cote d’Azur rivals Marseille. Marseille now lie fourth and seven points off the pace as they prepare for their Champions League tie against Serie A gianst Napoli on Tuesday at the Velodrome.
Another South American, Argentine striker Dario Cvitanich, grabbed the only goal of the game in the 40th minute for Nice. A minute’s applause was held before kick-off in memory of former Senegal coach and Nice player Bruno Metsu, who died of cancer earlier this week.
In the only other match on Friday, Toulouse edged Reims 2-1 thanks to a 87th minute penalty from Danish international Martin Braithwaite, his third goal of the season. AFP