Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nice 0 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Ibrahimovic at the double for Ligue 1 leaders

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 4 Dec 2015

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Paris Saint-Germain got back to winning ways in Ligue 1 as a goal in each half from Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped them see off 10-man Nice 3-0 at the Allianz Riviera.

Having seen their run of nine straight league victories come to an end with a 0-0 draw at Angers on Tuesday, Laurent Blanc’s side responded in style to open up a 16-point gap at the top of the table.

Back in the team after sitting out the midweek fixture, Ibrahimovic laid on the first for Edinson Cavani before making it 2-0 from the spot, with Niklas Hult sent off for the hosts after denying the Swede a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Ibrahimovic’s second of the night arrived 15 minutes after the break, ensuring PSG would record a sixth straight league league triumph over their opponents.

Nice had actually looked dangerous when it was 11 against 11 – Hatem Ben Arfa had three long-range attempts with his favoured left foot, while Mathieu Bodmer headed a great chance straight at Kevin Trapp in the visiting goal.

However, PSG seized control of the game in a crucial 10-minute period before the interval.

Cavani broke the deadlock in the 35th minute, tapping into an empty net after Ibrahimovic had unselfishly driven the ball across the face of the goal to find his unmarked team-mate, rather than take on a tricky shot with his left foot.

When Cavani tried to return the favour just before the break, the Swede was denied a simple tap-in at the far post due to Hult dragging him down inside the area.

After Hult was shown a straight red card, Ibrahimovic converted the penalty, doubling PSG’s advantage and leaving Nice in damage control mode.

Benjamin Stambouli headed over the crossbar when left all alone from six yards out straight after the half-time break, while Angel Di Maria saw a shot deflected wide when Yoan Cardinale had been left completely wrong-footed by the touch off his own player.

The third did eventually arrive just after the hour, Ibrahimovic this time deciding to go for goal from a tight angle with his right foot. Stood a yard off his line expecting another cross, Cardinale was unable to stop the low drive going in at the near post.

However, the striker missed out on the chance to help himself to a hat-trick, Blanc withdrawing him with 13 minutes remaining. He was whistled off by the home crowd, though the wry smile on his face suggested he did not mind the cat calls one bit.

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