Ibrahimovic sets scoring record in PSG’s win over Marseille
PARIS (AP) A day after celebrating his 34th birthday, Zlatan Ibrahimovic became Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time leading scorer as he netted twice in a 2-1 win over bitter rival Marseille in the French league Sunday.
With 110 goals for PSG in all competitions, Ibrahimovic surpassed Pedro Pauleta’s record of 109 goals that the former Portugal forward amassed in 211 games from 2003-2008. Ibrahimovic, who joined PSG in 2012, scored both his goals from the penalty spot to reach the milestone in just 137 games. He received a standing ovation when he was substituted in the 70th minute.
The win lifted unbeaten PSG five points clear of second-place Angers, with struggling Marseille already lagging 15 points behind after just nine games this season.
Seeking a first win at the Parc des Princes in more than five years, Marseille applied early pressure to keep the hosts pinned in their half. PSG struggled to follow the fast pace imposed by Michel’s players and Romain Alessandrini came close of giving the visitors an early lead after six minutes with a shot at goal that Brazilian defender Maxwell blocked with a last-minute tackle.
PSG began to press and created a couple of chances through Angel Di Maria and Ibrahimovic but Michy Batshuayi silenced the home fans in the 30th minute when he beat David Luiz at the far post to head in the opener after connecting with a lofted cross from Abdelaziz Barrada for his sixth league goal.
Trailing for the first time at his home ground this season, PSG did not panic and continued to press without efficiency until a bad clearance from Batshuayi forced Marseille keeper Steve Mandanda to a clumsy foul on Ibrahimovic in the area. The Sweden international coolly converted from the spot.
PSG was awarded another penalty three minutes later when Rolando handled Ibrahimovic’s header in the box. Ibrahimovic fired the ball into the net but referee Benoit Bastien asked him to retake it for player encroachment. The former Inter Milan forward made no mistake on his second attempt, sending Mandanda the wrong way.
In the second half, PSG had clear chances from substitute Javier Pastore and Serge Aurier, who also missed the target from close range and brought down Barrada in the box with a clumsy tackle in the 54th minute. The midfielder took the penalty but PSG keeper Kevin Trapp dived the right way and made the save. The German goalie was decisive again in the last minute when he won his duel with Remy Cabella.
”Marseille players were better during the first 30 minutes, it was a very tough game but my players never gave up,” said PSG coach Laurent Blanc. ”If we manage to always get the three points in matches where we are put on the back foot, this is a really good thing.”
Earlier, Andy Delort scored as Caen secured a fourth win in its last five matches to climb to third place, beating Saint-Etienne 1-0.
Just one point separated the teams before the game and Caen leapfrogged the visitors to move level on points with Angers.
After an excellent start to the season, fifth-place Saint-Etienne has slowed down in recent weeks and slumped to a third consecutive loss in all competitions.
Delort was a threat throughout and broke the deadlock in the 62nd from close range after connecting with a cross from Vincent Bessat at the back post. Caen goalkeeper Remi Vercoutre then tipped Saint-Etienne captain Loic Perrin’s header over the bar to keep the lead intact.
Tenth-place Monaco came from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw against Rennes, failing again to secure a first home win this season.
Wallace headed in his first league goal to level in the 51st after Abdoulaye Doucoure put the visitors ahead from Ludovic Baal’s precise cross.
Rennes had the chance to reclaim the lead when Fabinho fouled Doucoure in the box in the 64th but Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic produced a superb save to his right to deny Pedro Henrique’s effort from the penalty spot.
The visitors withstood Monaco’s late pressure as keeper Abdoulaye Diallo made a last-minute save to deny Guido Carrillo’s effort.
Rennes was dealt a blow when striker Paul-Georges Ntep came off with a suspected left thigh injury 20 minutes from time.
Also, Bordeaux’s poor away run continued as Willy Sagnol’s team lost 3-2 at Lorient, with both teams finishing with 10 men following the dismissals of Lamine Gassama and Andre Biyogo Poko for an altercation.