Paris Saint-Germain’s dominance in Ligue 1 this season continued unchecked on Saturday as Laurent Blanc’s side ran out comfortable 4-1 winners over struggling Troyes at Parc des Princes.
The game marked PSG’s first at home since the terror attacks in the French capital two weeks ago that left 130 people dead and hundreds more injured.
Before kick-off, the big screen inside the stadium displayed famous faces from the world of sport declaring the words ‘Je suis Paris’ – I am Paris – prior to a stirring rendition of La Marseillaise once the players had emerged.
As the action got under way amid an understandably subdued atmosphere, runaway leaders PSG assumed control without ever reaching top gear and took the lead midway through the first half thanks to Edinson Cavani’s excellent first-time volley from Angel di Maria’s wonderful ball.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had been largely quiet for much of the game, but the Sweden international claimed his almost customary goal from the penalty spot in the 58th minute after Lucas Moura had been felled by Chris Mavinga.
Layvin Kurzawa added a third with a fine volley nine minutes later before substitute Jean-Kevin Augustin made it 4-0 with his first goal for the club. Thomas Ayasse curled home from 25 yards in the 91st minute, but it was scant consolation as PSG eased to a ninth successive league victory, while bottom club Troyes remain winless from their 15 outings.
As expected against the strugglers, PSG made a bright start and Troyes goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni was called into action as early as the third minute, producing a fine save from Cavani’s powerful header.
The visitors responded and eight minutes later had a chance of their own when Fabien Camus’ low shot was tipped round the post by Kevin Trapp.
Thiago Silva went close to giving the hosts the lead soon afterwards when his header from Di Maria’s corner was cleared off the line, but Troyes’ respite was brief.
In the 20th minute, two moments of real quality proved too good for Troyes as Di Maria chipped an impudent pass to Cavani, who produced a sublime cushioned volley beyond Bernardoni.
PSG did not have matters all their own way, however, and were indebted to Trapp for keeping out Benjamin Nivet’s effort with his legs eight minutes before half-time.
The last meaningful action of the half saw Cavani work space for himself inside the box, but the Uruguayan’s rasping drive was tipped over.
PSG began the second period as they had ended the first and saw Lucas shoot narrowly wide eight minutes after the restart, and the Brazilian was involved again as the home side doubled their lead.
Looking to get onto a cute pass from Ibrahimovic, Lucas was brought down by Mavinga, and Ibrahimovic calmly slotted home the resulting spot-kick.
Blanc’s men continued to dominate and made it three when a headed clearance fell to Kurzawa on the edge of the box and the left-back controlled before volleying into the bottom-right corner with Bernardoni motionless.
Augustin’s shot from distance crept through the legs of Bernardoni for the home side’s fourth. And, although Ayasse gained a late consolation for Troyes with a stunning effort from distance, it mattered little as PSG’s seemingly inexorable charge towards a fourth straight title continued.