Thu, Sep 24, 2015 - Page 18 News List

PSG extend lead in defeat of Guingamp

AP, PARIS

Paris Saint-Germain’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, left, and Mustapha Diallo of En Avant de Guingamp vie for the ball during their game at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

Paris Saint-Germain stars Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Angel di Maria scored their first league goals this season as PSG provisionally moved four points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with a 3-0 win over En Avant de Guingamp on Tuesday.

After Javier Pastore put the hosts ahead with a neat finish in the 18th minute, Di Maria opened his account in the 76th as he took advantage of a mistake from goalkeeper Jonas Lossl to score from a rebound. Di Maria, who joined from Manchester United this summer, found the net from close range after Lossl failed to clear Ibrahimovic’s powerful shot.

Ibrahimovic, who has been criticized for his lack of impact in PSG’s previous matches, redoubled his efforts throughout the evening at the Parc des Princes. He was rewarded with a goal seven minutes from time — his 107th with PSG since joining in 2012 — scoring with a simple toe-poke from Di Maria’s assist.

Ibrahimovic missed the chance to add more luster to the win when Lossl dived to stop his penalty after Younousse Sankhare was booked for a foul on Edinson Cavani in the box in the 87th minute.

The Sweden international was the man of the match, showing his class in the 20th minute with a superb left-footed chip from the edge of the box that ended just wide of the far post. He also fed Pastore for the opening goal, when the Argentina midfielder found a way between five Guingamp players to fire into the bottom right corner.

In the final year of his contract, Ibrahimovic is targeting PSG’s club scoring record held by former Portugal striker Pedro Pauleta, who netted 109 in 211 games from 2003 to 2008.

After two consecutive draws that allowed PSG’s rivals to reduce the gap with the defending champions, Laurent Blanc’s team moved clear of second-placed Stade Rennais and AS Saint-Etienne. Guingamp slumped to a fifth straight loss and are eight points behind the leaders.

Earlier, Stade de Reims extended their unbeaten run in the league to four matches with a dour 0-0 draw against Angers SCO. Both teams have 12 points from seven matches, with fourth-place Reims standing one spot above Angers on goal-difference.

After an insipid first half, Angers created the best chances in the final 20 minutes, but Reims goalkeeper Johny Placide made two decisive saves.

Jordan Siebtacheu almost grabbed the three points for the visitors against the run of the play in additional time with a left-foot shot at the near post that goalkeeper Ludovic Butelle kept out with his foot.

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