Paris Saint-Germain kept their unbeaten start to the season intact with a dominant 3-0 win at Stade de Reims which extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to seven points on Saturday.
PSG, who suffered their last league defeat at Reims last season when they lost 1-0 in the champagne region, gained a slice of revenge in a controlled, professional performance away from home.
Lucas Moura and Jeremy Menez shared scored either side of halftime, before Zlatan Ibrahimovic added late insurance, while Reims missed a late penalty as Laurent Blanc’s men rumbled to their 10th victory in 14 outings.
Second-placed LOSC Lille Metropole were due to host Toulouse yesterday, while Cote d’Azur big spenders AS Monaco faced a must-win situation at Nantes in a bid to keep pace with the runaway leaders.
On Saturday, Olympique Lyonnais were held to a 1-1 draw at home by relegation-threatened Valenciennes, while Lorient picked up a rare away win by thrashing Evian Thonon Gaillard 4-0.
The three other matches between Montpellier Herault and En Avant de Guingamp, Stade Rennais at home to Girondins de Bordeaux and Sochaux-Montbeliard entertaining SC Bastia all finished 1-1.
In Reims, PSG cruised to a comfortable position at the top of the table.
“We turned in a really concrete performance today, created chances and took our goals,” PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu told Canal Plus TV. “We’re really happy with the win because it’s difficult to win here and we lost last season, so we took a lesson from that.”
The defending champions took a deserved lead on 24 minutes when Sirigu found Lucas with a clearance, who in turn played a neat one-two with Swedish teammate Ibrahimovic which broke the Brazilian behind the home defense. A composed touch allowed the 21-year-old to tee up a right-foot shot that flew into the left-hand corner of the goal with Reims goalkeeper Kossi Agassa well beaten.
Menez made sure Laurent Blanc’s men head to SL Benfica for their UEFA Champions League tie on Wednesday in fine fettle after another explosive finish with 30 minutes remaining.
Christophe Jallet made a penetrating run into the Reims penalty area, before finding Marco Verratti, who in tune then found Menez to set up the strike.
Verratti’s clumsy challenge at the other end minutes later appeared to hand Reims a life-line with a penalty, but Grzegorz Krychowiak missed the spot-kick.
Ibrahimovic then moved joint top scorer with his ninth goal. A clearance by Agassa was scooped up by the Swede, who rifled the ball into the back of the net.