• France's news in English

Ibrahimovic treble keeps PSG on track for title

AFP/The Local · 24 Feb 2014, 08:30

Published: 24 Feb 2014 08:30 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A hat-trick by Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired French champions Paris Saint Germain to a 4-2 win over Toulouse on Sunday and their first away victory in Ligue 1 since January 11.

Ibrahimovic's treble - which took him to 22 goals in Ligue 1 this season - and one from Argentinian Ezequiel Lavezzi, Toulouse's two being scored by Wissam Ben Yedder - restored their five point lead over Monaco, who had beaten Reims 3-2 on Friday, and extended their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to 10 games.

Lille overtook Saint Etienne and into third on 46 points after Sunday's late goalless draw with Lyon.

Toulouse remain 11 points above the relegation zone but without a home win since the end of November.

PSG coach Laurent Blanc, who selected the same starting XI as he had done for last Tuesday's 4-0 away win over Bayer Leverkusen in their Champions League Last 16 clash, said nothing surprised him about Ibrahimovic.

"He is not just a goalscorer he is also a formidable passer of the ball," said Blanc.

"I am not sure whether this is the best season of his career but the statistics are really impressive (he also has 10 goals in the Champions League)," added the 48-year-old.

Both sides took time to settle and created little of note until the hosts were presented with a clear chance to open the scoring but Danish international striker Martin Braithwaite made a complete mess of it by missing an open goal from half a yard out.

PSG made them pay for that as Uros Spajic took Ezequiel Lavezzi's legs from under him in a clumsy challenge on the half hour mark leaving the referee no choice but to book the Serbian and award a penalty.

Ibrahimovic duly drilled it down the middle to put them 1-0 up.

PSG went close to doubling their lead in the 38th minute as Blaise Matuidi stormed forward and saw his shot from the left side of the penalty area beat the 'keeper but come back off the post.

The visitors were then guilty of as bad a miss as Braithwaite's as Ibrahimovic worked some space on the left and put in a low cross which beat the 'keeper but Thiago Silva sent his effort from two yards out wide.

Toulouse took advantage of this let off as a minute from half-time an unmarked Ben Yedder levelled for the hosts with a super right-footed volley from Etienne Didot's cross.

PSG retook the lead in the 56th minute as Lavezzi scored with a smartly-taken shot inside the box after Ibrahimovic had torn through the Toulouse defence to pass to Matuidi, and though the latter's backheel failed

Story continues below…

to come off it fooled the Toulouse defence and fell to the Argentinian who finished with aplomb.

The visitors put the result beyond doubt in the 68th minute as the outstanding Ibrahimovic - who had just had an outrageously bold long range effort tipped over the bar by Zacharie Boucher - rose to head home Yohan
Cabaye's freekick.

However, Toulouse pulled a goal back four minutes later as Braithwaite found Ben Yedder and he slotted the ball home, although he looked to be well offside, but despite PSG's protests the referee gave it.

Ibrahimovic finally put the game to bed three minutes from time as he knocked home the ball after his penalty had been saved by Boucher.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available