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French Ligue 1

Parc des Princes (ATT 45,614) 16th March 2014 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: L Jaffredo

PSG Paris St Germain vs St Etienne St Etienne

PSG 2

Z Ibrahimovic (14, 41)

ft

Zlatan brace secures PSG win

Last Updated: 16/03/14 10:19pm

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brave for PSG

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brave for PSG

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his fifth Ligue 1 brace of the season as Paris St Germain restored their eight-point lead with a 2-0 win over St Etienne.

Two first-half strikes from the champions' top scorer were enough to secure Laurent Blanc's men their seventh straight win and maintained their impressive lead over second-placed Monaco.

Les Verts were looking to close the gap on third-placed Lille and almost got off to a perfect start when Franck Tabanou's rasping 30-yard drive looked destined for the back of the net until Salvatore Sirigu got across to save.

Any hopes of taking a surprise lead were soon quashed though when Ibrahimovic set PSG on their way in bizarre circumstances. The Sweden captain picked out Blaise Matuidi, but with the midfielder being flagged offside he chose to leave the ball and PSG's top-scorer made no mistake with a clinical finish after referee Lionel Jaffredo waved play on.

The hosts looked to turn the screw and had a penalty shout turned down when Edinson Cavani took a tumble inside the area before Ibrahimovic inexplicably missed from four yards out after Ezequiel Lavezzi had picked him out.

St Etienne were really struggling with the hosts' slick play and Cavani could have doubled their lead but somehow fired wide of the goal after Ibrahimovic found him brilliantly before Yohan Cabaye saw an effort from distance tipped away by Stephane Ruffier.

However, their pressure paid off with half-time approaching when Matuid found Cavani on the left and he teed up Ibrahimovic to volley beyond Ruffier for his 25th league goal of the season.

Christophe Gaultier's team almost handed themselves a lifeline straight after the restart but Benjamin Corgnet could only find the side-netting with just Sirigu to beat after Yohan Mollo saw an initial shot blocked by Alex.

At the other end Lucas Moura went close to adding a third for PSG but he headed wide from Marco Verratti's cross as the hosts tried to kill off the game.

The hosts had late opportunities to wrap up all three points but Cavani was wasteful again after Maxwell picked him out while Ibrahimovic saw his free-kick kept out by Ruffier but in the end a brace by PSG's number 10 proved enough.

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Matches

Table

French Ligue 1

French Ligue 1
Pos Team P Pts
1 Marseille 19 41
2 Lyon 19 39
3 Paris St Germain 19 38
4 St Etienne 19 36
5 Monaco 19 32
6 Bordeaux 19 31
7 Nantes 19 30
8 Rennes 19 28
9 Reims 19 28
10 Montpellier 19 26
11 Nice 19 22
12 Guingamp 19 22
13 Lille 18 21
14 Toulouse 19 21
15 Lorient 19 20
16 RC Lens 19 19
17 Metz 19 19
18 Evian Thonon Gaillar 18 19
19 Bastia 19 18
20 Caen 19 15