Ligue 1

PSG pull clear after easy win

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Fri, 08 Feb 2013 23:03:00

Paris St Germain moved six points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table after beating Bastia 3-1 at the Parc des Princes.

The capital club did all the damage after a goalless first 45 minutes in which the decision to keep star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench, with next week's Champions League trip to Valencia in mind, looked as though it could prove costly.

But after Jeremy Menez made the breakthrough on 51 minutes, the enigmatic Swede stepped off the bench to score his 21st league goal from the penalty spot.

Wahbi Khazri's free-kick pulled a goal back late on, to end goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu's unbeaten record at 947 minutes, before another substitute, Ezequiel Lavezzi, quickly ensured there would be no PSG slip-up.

The win leaves the Parisians' rivals knowing they cannot catch them this weekend, while Carlo Ancelotti's men can now focus on their the first leg of the Champion League last-16 tie at the Mestalla on Tuesday.

Ancelotti opted to keep his star names in reserve for that encounter, with Ibrahimovic and Lavezzi on the bench, while transfer deadline-day signing David Beckham was absent as he gets back to full fitness in London.

The Italian boss would have been sweating at half-time, however, as his side failed to break down 13th-placed Bastia despite dominating possession in the opening period.

Despite being level at the break, the visitors nearly made a disastrous start to the second period when Sylvain Marchal almost turned Javier Pastore's dangerous cross into his own net - Mickael Landreau was thankful to see the ball finish just wide of his left post.

Despite pulling off an outstanding save from a Kevin Gameiro back-heel soon after, Landreau gifted PSG the lead 10 minutes into the second half.

Menez's 20-yard effort should have been straightforward for the experienced keeper, but Landreau allowed the ball under his body and into the back of the net.

Ibrahimovic was introduced with 25 minutes left and it was not long before he was on the score sheet. Lucas Moura went down under a challenge which appeared to be outside the area, but the referee pointed at the spot and the Swede confidently tucked the ball away.

With the points seemingly sewn up, Khazri silenced the crowd with a superb free-kick which finally caught Sirigu out in the PSG goal.

However, Lavezzi's late tap-in after Landreau had parried the ball into his path wrapped up the points for the hosts.

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