Paris Saint-Germain tightened their grip at the top of Ligue 1 with a comfortable 2-1 win at Lorient on Saturday, their eighth consecutive league victory sealed by two goals in the first half.
Hervin Ongenda’s first league goal for the club put the defending champions ahead on 26 minutes despite Lorient having made a strong start, the 20-year-old tapping in Gregory van der Wiel’s superb cross.
Blaise Matuidi doubled the lead six minutes later, converting a low cross from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the result, PSG’s fifth successive win at Stade du Moustoir, was never in doubt from that point.
Benjamin Moukandjo grabbed one back for Lorient on 80 minutes, heading in a precise cross from Romain Philippoteaux, but the home side could not find an equaliser.
Ibrahimovic was making his 100th Ligue 1 appearance but was unable to add to his 84 goals for PSG, having scored in the club’s previous six league matches.
Head coach Laurent Blanc was without a host of key players including Angel di Maria, Marco Verratti, Ezequiel Lavezzi, David Luiz and Javier Pastore, with youth team products Ongenda and Presnel Kimpembe handed places in the side.
Following an emotional rendition of La Marseillaise and a period of silence following the Paris terror attacks, Lorient had the first chance on five minutes but Moukandjo’s touch let him down in front of goal.
Ligue 1 leaders PSG, who were wearing special shirts to commemorate those who lost their lives in the French capital last Friday, were struggling to assert themselves on the game and goalkeeper Kevin Trapp had to save twice in two minutes, from Raphael Guerreiro and then from Vincent Le Goff.
But the defending champions took the lead on 25 minutes with their first meaningful attack when Van der Wiel floated a sumptuous cross to Ongenda, who beat the offside trap to stab a volley through Benjamin Lecomte’s legs to net his first league goal for PSG.
Just six minutes later it was 2-0 as PSG took control. Ongenda linked up with Ibrahimovic and the Sweden international picked out Matuidi’s run for a simple finish from six yards.
PSG continued to push for goals after the break and almost added a third five minutes into the second half, but Lecomte kept out Lorient defender Lamine Gassama’s header to prevent an own-goal.
Both teams were struggling for balance on Lorient’s artificial pitch, with many players slipping due to the wet conditions.
PSG were looking comfortable but Lorient gave themselves hope by pulling a goal back on 80 minutes, Moukandjo powering in a header from close range after good work by substitute Philippoteaux.
Ibrahamovic almost secured the victory with five minutes to go but his drive was kept out by Lecomte.