Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored one goal and made another as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed struggling Evian Thonon Gaillard 4-0 to move into provisional second place in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
PSG had dropped down to fourth after three losses in their previous five league games — including two at home — but Ibrahimovic settled the nerves in the 28th minute with his league-leading 14th goal of the season.
Three minutes later, the imposing Swede expertly chested the ball down for Argentina international winger Ezequiel Lavezzi to make it 2-0.
Midfielder Thiago Motta and striker Kevin Gameiro added two late tap-ins to make the score more emphatic.
“It was a good game, a good performance from the team,” PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “It was an important game for us.”
PSG restored morale by beating Porto 2-1 in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday last week and Ancelotti was confident things were back on track after another win at the Parc des Princes.
“I wanted us to show the same attitude we showed against Porto,” Ancelotti said.
PSG were two points behind leaders Olympique Lyonnais, who had a tough trip to bitter rivals AS Saint-Etienne yesterday. Olympique de Marseille needed only a draw at home to Lorient yesterday to move into second place.
In other matches on Saturday, it was Montpellier Herault 3, AC Ajaccio 0; AS Nancy-Lorraine 1, Valenciennes 1; Stade Rennais 2, Stade Brestois 29 2; Sochaux-Montbeliard 1, LOSC Lille Metropole 1; and ES Troyes AC 1, OGC Nice 1.
Sixth-place Rennes missed the chance to pressure the top four teams.
Winger Julien Feret and midfielder Romain Alessandrini put Rennes 2-0 ahead in the second half, but goals from midfielder Benoit Lesoimier and Dutch striker Charlison Benschop in the last 20 minutes helped Brest scrape a draw.
Draw specialists Nice earned a point at relegation battlers Troyes to move up to ninth place, thanks to Argentine striker Dario Cvitanich’s stoppage-time goal — his seventh in the league this season.
Nolan Roux put midtable Lille ahead in the 63rd minute, but the visitors’ lead lasted only two minutes before Tunisia midfielder Yassin Mikari equalized for Sochaux with his first goal of the season.
Montpellier climbed up to 12th place thanks to goals from striker John Utaka, winger Remy Cabella and midfielder Younes Belhanda.