PSG move 24 points clear


Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as Paris St Germain moved 24 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table with a 2-0 win at St Etienne.

The home side had put up a brave first-half display, with PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp having to turn away goalbound efforts from both Kevin Malcuit and Franck Tabanou.

Ibrahimovic’s instinctive backheel was saved before Lucas Moura’s follow-up was blocked on the line by St Etienne captain Moustapha Sall.

PSG, though, finally made the breakthrough just after the hour when Serge Aurier got away down the right to cross for Ibrahimovic (61) to stab the ball in from close range.

St Etienne substitute Jeremy Clement forced another good save from Trapp late on, before, with two minutes of the added time almost up, Ibrahimovic tapped in a mis-kicked shot from Angel di Maria for his 19th goal of the campaign as Laurent Blanc’s side equalled the record of 32 matches unbeaten in the French top flight.

Earlier on Sunday, Caen moved level with fourth-placed Nice as they beat Claude Puel’s men 2-0 at Stade Michel-d’Ornano.

The hosts took an early lead through forward Ronny Rodelin (12), his third goal in as many Ligue 1 games.

Nice were further behind when Andy Delort doubled Caen’s lead from the penalty spot (41) after Saidi Ntibazinkiza had been tripped in the box by Nampalys Mendy.

The visitors – who could have gone second with a win after Monaco’s loss at Angers – finally offered a response in the second half.

Dorian Caddy headed wide before goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre saved Hatem Ben Arfa’s free-kick and then a fierce strike from Jean-Michael Seri as Caen closed out victory.

Elsewhere, Bordeaux stretched their unbeaten Ligue 1 run to six matches as they dispatched Rennes 4-0 with a double from Cheick Diabate.

The Mali forward headed the hosts in front on 29 minutes and then doubled Les Girondins’ advantage early in the second half.

Uruguay frontman Diego Rolan (67) netted a third from close-range, with Thomas Toure completing the rout in stoppage time as Willy Sagnol’s side moved to within three points of the top four.

On Saturday, Cheikh N’Doye’s double helped lift Angers up to third place  following a convincing 3-0 home win against second-placed Monaco.

Senegal international N’Doye struck twice from close range in the 19th and 43rd minutes and Mohamed Yattara sealed victory with a third 10 minutes into the second half.

Angers, promoted at the end of last season, bounced back from last week’s 5-1 thrashing at runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain to halt a three-game losing run in all competitions and climb to within two points of Monaco, who slipped to their first defeat in 10 league matches.

PSG will bid to extend their 21-point lead at the top on Sunday when they travel south to face St Etienne.

Lyon’s hopes of European football were dealt a blow as Bastia’s Brazilian striker Brandao struck the game’s only goal in the second half.

Bastia were reduced to 10 men in the 88th minute when defender Gilles Cioni was hown a straight red card for his crude challenge on substitute Clement Grenier.

Lyon trail fourth-placed Rennes by four points, while Bastia – with Francois Ciccolini returning for his second spell as coach – put more daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.

Nantes extended their unbeaten league run to nine matches with a 1-0 win at Troyes, who have yet to win at home in the league this season.

Nantes’ Belgian defender Guillaume Gillet scored the only goal four minutes before the interval.

Lorient defender Zargo Toure struck twice in a 2-0 home win against Reims to secure his side their first win in five league matches .

The Senegalese scored in the 15th and 51st minutes as Reims’ winless run was extended to eight games in all competitions.

Montpellier boosted their relegation fight by snapping a run of four straight defeats in all competitions with their biggest win of the season, 4-0 at GFC Ajaccio.

Montpellier went in two up at the break through Mali striker Mustapha Yatabare and Jonas Martins’ penalty before midfielder Bryan Dabo struck twice in the space of five minutes early in the second half.

Second-bottom Toulouse are now five points from safety after losing 2-1 at home to Guingamp.

Guingamp went ahead through Senegalese midfielder Younousse Sankhare’s 12th-minute opener and although Wissam Ben Yedder (64) equalised from the penalty spot, Jimmy Briand struck a 74th-minute winner for the visitors. Issa Diop was sent off for Toulouse late on.

Antoine Rabillard grabbed an equaliser for 10-man Marseille six minutes into injury time to hold Lille to a 1-1 draw on Friday night.

Rabillard struck from close range after Lille keeper Vincent Enyeama had saved Paolo de Ceglie’s header.

Lille had looked on course for victory – especially when Marseille substitute Abdelaziz Barrada was sent off in the 82nd minute – having taken the lead through Sebastien Corchia’s 57th-minute goal.

The draw created an unwanted record for Marseille however – it meant their winless streak at home is now up to nine matches, surpassing the previous record set in 1962. Nevertheless, they have now lost only once in their last 13 league games.

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou had nearly opened the scoring for Marseille only for Enyeama to save, and Lille took advantage of the let-off to open the scoring after good build-up play by Rio Mavuba.

Corchia then beat one defender before clipping the ball over the keeper from a tight angle.

After Barrada’s red card, for a challenge on Yassine Benzia, it looked like Lille would hang on for victory only for Rabillard to strike.


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