Paris Saint-Germain shook off a lacklustre first half to defeat Bastia 3-1 on Friday and go six points clear at the top of Ligue 1 in a morale-boosting win ahead of their UEFA Champions League duty next week. 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 looked as though it could prove costly.
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.
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 for Bastia late on to end goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu’s unbeaten record at 947 minutes. After Khazri’s thunderbolt, substitute Ezequiel Lavezzi settled PSG’s nerves with an 89th-minute goal to put the pressure back on second-place Lyon who host Lille on Sunday.
PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti insisted that Ibrahimovic had no arguments over being demoted to the bench: “It wasn’t hard to convince Ibra, he understands that there are always risks of injuries and we need to avoid that.” With this latest victory, PSG moved onto 51 points taking their recent run to 12 matches without defeat in all competitions.