PSG crush Lille 6-1, go 3 points clear

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JEROME PUG­MIRE

Paris Saint- Ger­main bounced back from its lack­lus­ter per­for­mance against Barcelona by thrash­ing Lille 6-1 to move three points ahead of Lyon at the top of the French league on Satur­day.

Lyon still has a marginally bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence and can move back to the top if it wins away at Reims on Sun­day.

Winger Eze­quiel Lavezzi grabbed a hat trick and striker Edin­son Ca­vani scored twice in what mid­fielder Blaise Ma­tu­idi called PSG’s “best per­for­mance of the sea­son.”

“It’s im­por­tant to get six goals be­cause Lyon scores a lot,” Ma­tu­idi said.

League Cup win­ner PSG re­mains on course for an un­prece­dented do­mes­tic tre­ble, and will be look­ing to plun­der more goals on Tues­day when it plays its game in hand at home to 19th-place Metz.

“Win­ning the tre­ble is a big mo­ti­va­tion for us, it would be his­toric, and that’s why we’re play­ing for PSG,” Ma­tu­idi said. “We’ll keep go­ing like this, with­out get­ting car­ried away. We’re play­ing Metz, which is fight­ing to stay up, so it won’t be easy.”

PSG was com­pre­hen­sively beaten 5-1 on ag­gre­gate by Barcelona in the Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nals, but against a very poor Lille side scored twice in­side the first four min­utes.

“We re­gret how we played against Barcelona, but that’s in the past now, and we have to win the two tro­phies re­main­ing,” Ma­tu­idi said. PSG will be heavy fa­vorite when it faces sec­ond-di­vi­sion Aux­erre in the French Cup fi­nal next month.

Left back Max­ell scored af­ter 24 sec­onds when he turned in Serge Aurier’s cross from the right with a neat first-time shot for the quick­est goal in PSG’s league his­tory — two sec­onds faster than Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic’s goal two sea­sons ago. Mar­seille striker An­dre-Pierre Gignac’s goal af­ter 20 sec­onds against Evian is the quick­est this sea­son.

At­tack­ing mid­fielder Javier Pa­s­tore then played Ca­vani through with a su­perb pass, and the for­ward’s bril­liant lob from the edge of the penalty area sailed over goal­keeper Vin­cent Enyeama.

Ca­vani missed good chances in the first leg of PSG’s 3-1 de­feat against Barcelona in the Cham­pi­ons League quar­ter­fi­nal, and was to­tally anony­mous in the sec­ond leg on Tues­day, but he ran Lille’s de­fense ragged.

Mid­fielder Thi­ago Motta picked out Ca­vani gal­lop­ing down the right in the 29th, and he squared the ball to Lavezzi for the third goal.

Lavezzi grabbed his sec­ond in the 44th with Ca­vani and Ma­tu­idi com­bin­ing to set him up for a closerange vol­ley.

PSG goal­keeper Sal­va­tore Sirigu limped off in­jured shortly af­ter, re­placed by Ni­co­las Douchez, and right back Serge Aurier — only re­cently back from in­jury — also went off with a thigh in­jury just be­fore the in­ter­val.

“(Sirigu) has a pe­cu­liar in­jury. From what I’ve heard, his boot was both­er­ing him and it’s a heel prob­lem,” PSG coach Lau­rent Blanc said.

De­fender Marko Basa pulled a goal back when he headed in from a cor­ner in the 59th, but the vis­i­tors fin­ished the match with 10 play­ers af­ter right back Se­bas­tian Corchia was sent off for foul­ing Lavezzi in the 71st.

Ca­vani con­verted the penalty and Lavezzi com­pleted his hat trick in the 77th, drilling a low shot past Enyeama af­ter run­ning onto an­other pass from the ir­re­press­ible Pa­s­tore.

Even the nor­mally in­dif­fer­ent Ibrahi­movic ap­plauded from the stands. In other matches, it was Bordeaux 1, Metz 1; Caen 0, Guingamp 2; Evian 1, Bas­tia 2; Rennes 2, Nice 1; and Toulouse 1, Nantes 1.

Teenage striker Fran­cois Ka­mano’s two goals moved Bas­tia well clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Third-place Monaco vis­its last­place Lens, and fifth-place Sain­tE­ti­enne takes on Mont­pel­lier in Sun­day’s other games.

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