Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 5-1 victory over Lyon at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.
Ligue 1’s top goal-scorer needed just 11 minutes to grab his 13th league goal of the season as the reigning champions made light work of the side who pushed them all the way for the title in 2014/15.
How things have changed just seven months on, with Lyon enduring a poor run of form, further goals from Serge Aurier and Edinson Cavani compounding their woes in the capital.
Jordan Ferri grabbed what proved to be a consolation goal in the first half courtesy of an error by Kevin Trapp in the PSG goal, but there was little else that Lyon could take from a game in which they were outclassed throughout, Ibrahimovic scoring a second-half penalty to put the game firmly out of their reach, before Lucas Moura bagged a fifth from an injury-time counterattack.
The win takes PSG 17 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table, and Laurent Blanc’s side are showing no signs of letting their incredible run of 24 wins from their last 27 domestic fixtures slip anytime soon.
The first chance of the evening fell to Ibrahimovic, who skilfully chested down Thiago Motta’s chipped pass but hit his shot into the floor, goalkeeper Anthony Lopes gathering it easily.
The Swede made no mistake after 10 minutes, when Thiago Silva’s long ball was headed by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa directly into Ibrahimovic’s path, the Swede scoring with a low shot from 10 yards out.
The lead was doubled six minutes later when Angel di Maria whipped a superb free-kick into the box and Aurier flashed a header past Lopes from close range.
PSG continued to pour forward, and Cavani tried to get among the goals, turning Yanga-Mbiwa inside out with a piece of skill on the edge of the penalty area before poking a shot just wide.
With the home side dominating proceedings, a calamitous error by Trapp gifted Lyon a way back into the match when Ferri’s speculative 30-yard shot hit the PSG goalkeeper’s hands and looped up and into the net behind him.
The goal took the wind out of PSG’s sails, but coach Laurent Blanc sent his side out fired up for the second half and Di Maria drew an acrobatic save from Lopes when David Luiz played him in.
Luiz then missed a glorious chance to make the scoreline more comfortable for his side when Di Maria’s corner found him unmarked just five yards from goal, but he misdirected his header and failed to hit the target.
But the hosts’ high-tempo approach in the second half paid dividends when Di Maria, who was involved in much of PSG’s best play, hit a cross that bounced in front of Cavani, and the Uruguayan hooked the ball into the corner of the net.
Just as the game seemed to be slowing to its conclusion, a wonderful piece of skill by Ibrahimovic drew a foul inside the box from Henri Bedimo, and the scorer of the game’s first goal stepped up to bury the spot-kick low into the corner of the net with 13 minutes to go.
There was still time for lively substitute Lucas Moura to slam home a fifth, galloping clear of the Lyon backline to finish off a swift counterattack, firing his shot above Lopes and into the roof of the net from the right side of the penalty area.
Key Opta stats:
– This is PSG’s joint-biggest win against Lyon in Ligue 1 alongside 1st December 2013 (4-0), but this is the 1st time PSG have managed to score five goals against Lyon.
– If Ligue 1 had started on 1st November 2015, PSG would be top with 16 points and Lyon 18th with only four points in six games.
– PSG are the only team still unbeaten in the top five European leagues this season.
– PSG have registered 48 points in their first 18 Ligue 1 games in 2015/16. PSG are only one point short of the highest tally ever at this stage (49 for Lyon in 2006/07).
– PSG are unbeaten in their last 27 Ligue 1 games (W24, D3), matching their best run ever in the top-flight from August 1993 to April 1994.
– Only Lionel Messi (79) & Mesut Özil (74) have delivered more assists than Angel Di Maria (68) across the top five leagues since 2010/11.
– Angel Di Maria is the first player to deliver a treble of assists in Ligue 1 2015/16. Sofiane Boufal was the last player to manage this in Ligue 1 (Lille v Metz on 23 May 2015).
-Edinson Cavani has scored six goals against Lyon with PSG in all competitions, more than against any other opponent.
– Cavani is, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic & Gonzalo Higuain, the only player to have scored 10 or more goals in the last eight seasons in the top five leagues.
– No goalkeeper has made more errors leading to a goal than Kevin Trapp in the league and Champions League over the top five European leagues this season (4 – 2 v Bordeaux, 1 v Real Madrid and 1 v Lyon).