Ibrahimovic gives PSG win over Nancy
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two second-half goals Saturday to give leader Paris Saint-Germain a 2-1 victory over Nancy in the French league despite another mediocre performance against weaker opposition.
PSG looked in danger of losing a third game against a team fighting relegation in the span of three weeks when Nancy winger Benjamin Moukandjo opened the scoring with a header in the 36th minute.
But Ibrahimovic equalized in the 59th before chasing a long ball from Marco Verratti to net the winner in the 62nd. Former England captain David Beckham was again on the bench for PSG, but came on for Verratti in the 73rd.
''Those are not easy matches. We must play them with the right attitude,'' PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu said. ''The first half reminded me of what we went through in Reims. Fortunately, we reacted well in the second half.''
PSG lost to Sochaux in February and to Reims last weekend.
The Parisian club now has a provisional five-point lead over Lyon, which hosts third-place Marseille on Sunday. Nancy is next-to-last, and could be overtaken by Troyes later Saturday.
PSG dominated the first half but failed to convert its chances. Blaise Matuidi beat the offside trap in the 12th to collect a through ball from Lucas Moura, but the PSG midfielder fired wide with just the keeper to beat.
Lucas was then played in by Ibrahimovic in the 42nd, but the Brazilian winger shot straight in Nancy goalkeeper Damien Gregorini's face.
Nancy sent a warning in the 27th when left back Yassine Djebbour cut inside to fire a curling shot that PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu diverted onto the post.
The visitors then capitalized on a turnover in the 36th. Djamel Bakar intercepted a pass from PSG playmaker Javier Pastore to feed Moukandjo, whose low strike was saved by Sirigu, but he pounced on the rebound to head home.
Pastore's mistake did not go unnoticed as PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti replaced him with Jeremy Menez at halftime. Ibrahimovic was clean through on goal in the 48th but Gregorini palmed away the Sweden striker's chip.
Things got worse for PSG in the 55th when Lucas picked up an ankle injury and was replaced by Kevin Gameiro.
But Nancy then paid the price for two lapses of concentration. Sebastien Puygrenier failed to control the ball with his chest and Menez passed it to Ibrahimovic, who beat Gregorini.
The Sweden striker had another chance in the 61st, when he met a cross from Lavezzi but sent a shot straight into Gregorini's arms.
Ibrahimovic showed more flair a minute later. Gregorini came off his line to intercept a long ball from Verratti, but the Nancy goalkeeper missed his clearance, allowing Ibrahimovic to slot into an empty net.
PSG had a scare in the closing minutes as a shot from Nancy substitute Florent Zitte deflected off Thiago Silva to bounce off the post.