PSG restore five-point advantage
Last Updated: 23/02/14 4:30pm
Blaise Matuidi makes progress
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his second Ligue 1 hat-trick of the season as Paris Saint Germain restored their five-point lead at the top of the table with a 4-2 win away to Toulouse.
The pressure was on for the visitors after Monaco won on Friday night cut PSG's lead to two points but, largely thanks to their talismanic striker, Laurent Blanc's team refused to fold.
His treble and a solitary strike from Ezequiel Lavezzi was enough to claim all three points, although Toulouse played their part with Wissam Ben Yedder finding the net either side of half-time to make it a less than straightforward afternoon for the Parisians.
Le Tefece impressed early on and Salvatore Sirigu was the first goalkeeper called into action when Daniel Braithwaite's curling effort threatened before Serge Aurier fired against the post just a few minutes later.
However, despite their early dominance, Toulouse found themselves a goal down just after the half-hour mark when Uros Spajic brought down Lavezzi inside the area and referee Nicolas Rainville pointed at the spot.
Man of the moment Ibrahimovic took charge and, for the sixth time this season in Ligue 1, the Sweden captain scored from 12 yards.
PSG almost doubled their lead before the break when Ibrahimovic crossed for Thiago Silva but the Brazilian somehow put the ball wide and seconds later the hosts were made to pay in stunning fashion.
Toulouse's Etienne Didot made space on the right before delivering a perfect cross for Ben Yedder at the far post and he dispatched a superb first-time volley beyond a motionless Sirigu.
The second half began much like the first, with Toulouse frustrating the visitors, but it was not long before PSG's quality shone through when Lavezzi fired them back into the lead.
Ibrahimovic was heavily involved again and, despite Blaise Matuidi miscontrolling his pass, the ball fell to the former Napoli man who made no mistake with a clinical finish from inside the area.
Boosted by that goal, PSG began to find their rhythm and Ibrahimovic went close with a rocket of a shot which Zacharie Boucher clawed out of the top corner - but it was not long before PSG's number 10 was celebrating again.
Substitute Yohan Cabaye took charge of a free-kick and his delivery was pin-point for Ibrahimovic, who brilliantly headed beyond Boucher to give his side a two-goal cushion.
Toulouse did hit back when Ben Yedder benefited from a Thiago Motta deflection to beat Sirigu for a second time in the game, despite being in an offside position, but Ibrahimovic made sure of all three points in the 88th minute.
Issiaga Sylla handled inside the area and Ibrahimovic saw his cheeky 'Panenka' attempt saved by Boucher but, after the keeper failed to hold onto the ball, the Sweden captain poked home the rebound.
French Ligue 1
|3||Paris St Germain||19||38|
|18||Evian Thonon Gaillar||18||19|