Paris Saint-Germain served another reminder of their Ligue 1 supremacy with a thumping 5-1 victory at home to Angers SCO on Saturday that moved the reigning champions 24 points clear at the top.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic opened the scoring at the Parc des Princes with his 17th league goal of the season, before Lucas doubled the lead for Laurent Blanc’s side just before halftime.
The floodgates then opened after the break, with Gregory van der Wiel rounding off a superb team move for PSG’s third, only for Pierrick Capelle to pull one back, but Angel di Maria then scored twice in the space of four minutes to complete the rout.
“It was a great second half, although the first was a bit trickier against well-organized opponents, which we noticed in the first meeting this season,” said Blanc, whose team won for the 19th time in 22 games. “The first goal was crucial. Once we led things became a bit easier.”
With Paris Saint-Germain still competing in four competitions, the capital club face a fixture backlog that sees them play seven games in three weeks ahead of their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 first leg against Chelsea on Feb. 16.
Blanc was without captain Thiago Silva, Marquinhos, Marco Verratti and Javier Pastore through injury, but still fielded an imposing lineup, although there was no place for Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, whose future remains unclear amid reports this week linking him to Manchester United.
Angers held PSG to a 0-0 draw when the sides met last month, the last time PSG dropped points this season and the only occasion in which they have failed to score in Ligue 1.
The visitors entered the weekend with the league’s second-meanest defense, but there was little Angers could do.
Also on Saturday, Hatem Ben Arfa netted his 10th goal of the season as OGC Nice beat Lorient 2-1 to climb to second place, while Stade Malherbe Caen won 2-1 at Montpellier Herault and En Avant de Guingamp secured a 1-0 victory over nine-man SC Bastia.
ESTAC Troyes finally registered their first win of the season after coming from behind to win 3-1 at Lille OSC, while Girondins de Bordeaux rallied late on to draw 2-2 at Nantes.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017