Zlatan Ibrahimovic willed Paris Saint-Germain to a 4-1 home win over Reims, as their march to a fourth-straight Ligue 1 crown steamrolled a slight bump in the road.
Sweden star Ibrahimovic hogged the headlines after Tuesday’s 2-1 Champions league win over Chelsea at the Parc des Princes, talking up a future move to the Premier League when his contract expires in June, and the striker had a hand in all four goals as PSG won despite a rocky defensive display.
Gregory van der Wiel latched onto Ibrahimovic’s inch-perfect throughball to put PSG ahead, but Reims fought back and equalised through Prince Oniangue’s header – which owed a lot to Kevin Trapp abandoning his duties in the home goal.
Reims kept a nervy Trapp busy, but Ibrahimovic grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, first bundling home his side’s second before releasing Edinson Cavani to stretch the advantage before half-time.
Ibrahimovic powerfully extended the lead midway through the second half, proving he remains the on-field boss in Paris and providing food for thought for any potential English suitors.
After the departing Ezequiel Lavezzi was handed a warm on-pitch farewell ahead of kick-off prior to relocating to China, a routine home success had looked on the cards when Van der Wiel raced clear to put PSG ahead in the 12th minute.
However, Trapp showed no sign of repeating a solid show against Chelsea as he wildly punched at an Antoine Conte shot heading straight down his throat.
And the German was at fault again shortly after, bursting off his line to clear a Nicolas de Preville free-kick, only to see Oniangue rise ahead of him to equalise.
Trapp again looked shaky as De Preville tested him from distance and PSG’s woes deepened when Angel Di Maria was forced off with an apparent injury.
But Ibrahimovic forced a turn in the tide, blustering his way into the area to finish at the second time of asking and then cutely dabbing Layvin Kurzawa’s pass into Cavani, whose first-time finish had Laurent Blanc’s men enjoying a comfortable cushion at the break.
Blaise Matuidi’s half-time introduction helped stem Reims’ ventures in midfield and, once PSG awoke from something of a second-half slumber, Ibrahimovic volleyed Van der Wiel’s cross past Johann Carrasso – although the offside flag ought to have been raised.
Ibrahimovic was almost involved in a fifth goal as he again manoeuvred Cavani into space, but Carrasso pulled off a stunning reflex save from the Uruguayan.
It was not enough to prevent a home victory and a 36th Ligue 1 game unbeaten, that leaves PSG needing just 10 points from their remaining 11 games to seal a title that is almost certain to arrive in record-breaking time.
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