Ibra hits brace as PSG sink Nancy
Zlatan Ibrahimovic extended his league-leading goal tally to 24 as his brace inspired Paris Saint-Germain to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Nancy at the Parc des Princes. The result gives the capital side a five-point cushion over second placed Lyon, who host Marseille in the final match of the weekend on Sunday.
It was the first time all season PSG had come from behind at home to win. Former England captain David Beckham came on in the second half as Carlo Ancelotti shored up the midfield on what was an unexpectedly hard afternoon's work on a sun-kissed day in Paris.
"We had a good reaction in the second half and were able to get back into the match," reflected PSG keeper Salvatore Sirigu. "We're enjoying this moment and even if we didn't play well in the first half, it's good to pick up a victory after struggling so much.
After Nancy took a shock lead on 36 minutes, Ibrahimovic struck twice in three minutes early in the second half to ensure a successful week's work for PSG following their qualification for the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday, when they eliminated Valencia.
Defensive lapses were the downfall for Nancy as first captain Sebastien Puygrenier made a hash of a clearance and then goalkeeper Damien Gregorini made an even worse blunder to offer the Sweden captain two of the easiest goals of his career.
On 59 minutes, the normally reliable centre-back Puygrenier failed to control a routine ball at the top of the area, which allowed Jeremy Menez to pounce and touch the ball forward for Ibrahimoivc to tuck away the equaliser.
The goal changed the match, bringing the crowd back into the tie, and three minutes later PSG were in front following another disaster in defence, this time by Gregorini. A ball over the top of the back four landed outside the box, but although Gregorini arrived first to meet it, he completely miskicked allowing Ibrahimovic to run past him and stroke the ball into the empty net.
Nancy had silenced the Parc des Princes faithful on 36 minutes with a classic piece of counter-attacking football that was brilliantly finished off by Cameroon international Benjamin Moukandjo. Argentina playmaker Javier Pastore was the villain for PSG as he carelessly gave the ball away just inside his own-half, allowing Djamel Bakar to sweep the ball forward to Moukandjo. Although his initial shot was blocked by Sirigu, the 24-year-old kept his composure to skillfully head the ball home despite the presence of defender Thiago Silva on the goal-line.
The half-time whistle was welcome relief to the leaders who walked off to a loud chorus of derision from their own fans.
Ancelotti fired up his playes for the second half and they should have equalised three minutes after the restart when Ibrahimovic broke through the away defence, but with only Gregorini to beat, his shot was superbly swatted away by the 34-year-old veteran.
But it was only a matter of minutes before the home side deservedly equalised and went on to to win, with Beckham making a late cameo after being an unused substitute against Valencia.