Paris Saint-Germain made light of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s absence by thrashing Lorient 4-0 to stretch their unbeaten Ligue 1 run to 23 games.
Ibrahimovic was ruled out due to a knee injury, but the French champions proved they can cope without the prolific Sweden striker as struggling Lorient were swept aside in pouring rain at the Parc des Princes on Friday night.
Wingers Lucas Moura and Jeremy Menez made the most of being handed rare starts by scoring first-half goals to put Laurent Blanc’s side in command.
Lucas then set up big-money signing Edinson Cavani’s 10th goal of the season and the Uruguay striker added another after the break – his sixth in four games – as the Parisian outfit moved three points clear of Monaco at the top of the table.
Blanc made five changes to the side that drew 2-2 at Saint-Etienne last weekend, with Lucas and Menez among those given a chance to impress and defender Christophe Jallet back from injury.
Lorient ended a run of six games without a win by beating Sochaux in their last league game, but coach Christian Gourcuff made two changes following that victory as forward Kevin Monnet-Paquet and midfielder Maxime Barthelme came in.
Lucas took just three minutes to impress on his recall as he got on the end of Lucas Digne’s cross from the left and volleyed home with his right foot.
The visitors were then forced to make two substitutions in as many minutes with Jeremie Aliadiere and goalkeeper Fabien Audard unable to continue. Sadio Diallo replaced the former, while Baptiste Reynet took over between the posts.
Lorient had no answer to PSG’s passing and movement, and the lively Menez had a shot cleared off the line before scoring his first goal of the season in the 39th minute.
Italy midfielder Marco Verratti set the France international up with an incisive pass and the winger finished clinically from eight yards out.
The in-form Cavani got in on the act two minutes before the break when he headed home Lucas’ inviting cross with Reynet stranded.
Lorient made a fist of it in the second half and defender Lamine Kone’s header drifted wide of the far post.
Fit-again Javier Pastore then came on to make his first appearance for over a month before PSG keeper Salvatore Sirigu produced a fine save to deny Vincent Aboubakar a consolation after 73 minutes.
PSG finished the stronger, with Cavani and Menez both threatening, and the former Napoli striker should have been awarded a penalty prior to scoring his second of the night from close range with nine minutes remaining.