Tue, Dec 03, 2013 - Page 19 News List

Ibrahimovic nets twice, PSG overwhelm Lyon

AFP, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain underlined their superiority over the rest of Ligue 1 on Sunday as Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted twice in a 4-0 win against Olympique Lyonnais at the Parc des Princes in Paris.

Ibrahimovic scored both of his goals from the penalty spot as he moved clear at the top of the Ligue 1 scorers chart, while South Americans Edinson Cavani and captain Thiago Silva also found the net to help PSG continue their unbeaten record in all competitions this season.

They remain four points clear of LOSC Lille Metropole and five ahead of AS Monaco at the top of the standings after easing past a Lyon side who once dominated the French scene themselves, but who are currently languishing in midtable.

While Lyon coach Remi Garde accepted that his team are “not competing in the same league as Paris,” opposite number Laurent Blanc insisted the scoreline was not necessarily a fair reflection on the game.

“The size of the scoreline could make you think it was easy from beginning to end, but Lyon made life difficult for us early on,” Blanc said. “If we keep playing at 100 percent, I think it will be very difficult to beat PSG, but we need to avoid complacency and be at our very best in every game.”

The buildup to the match was overshadowed by the news that both team buses were stoned on the way to the stadium, while Lyon lost Bafetimbi Gomis to injury in the warmup.

In his absence, OL played with a three-man central defense and for much of the first half they succeeded in frustrating the hosts. They were also helped by referee Antony Gautier’s decision not to award a penalty when Cavani went down under a challenge from Bakary Kone 16 minutes in.

Alexandre Lacazette had been left to plow a lone furrow up front for Lyon and he had the visitors’ best opportunity of the first half, creating space for himself inside the penalty area and lashing a shot against the bar, but PSG got their noses in front nine minutes before the interval when Cavani met a corner from the left and headed in through the legs of Yoann Gourcuff, who was standing on the near post.

Five minutes later, the Uruguayan was brought down again inside the penalty area. This time, Lyon goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre was the culprit and a penalty was awarded.

Ibrahimovic sent Vercoutre the wrong way as he coolly chipped into the net and Lyon’s chances of getting back into the game appeared to be over by the interval.

They conceded again on the hour mark, Brazilian skipper Silva converting the loose ball following a corner for his first-ever goal in Ligue 1, and there was more pain to come for the visitors as Ibrahimovic beat Vercoutre from the spot once again after being fouled by Samuel Umtiti, taking his tally to 20 goals in his past 13 games for club and country.

PSG are now unbeaten in 26 Ligue 1 matches and maintain a safe distance from Lille, who won 1-0 at northern neighbors Valenciennes on Saturday.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Mickael Landreau equaled fellow goalkeeper Jean-Luc Ettori’s record of 602 appearances in France’s top flight as he kept a clean sheet for SC Bastia in a 2-0 win over Evian Thonon Gaillard.

The 34-year-old France international began his career at Nantes in 1996 and won the title with Les Canaris in 2001, before spells at Paris Saint-Germain and Lille, with whom he won the double in 2010-2011.

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