PSG beat Metz to move fur­ther ahead of Lyon

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JEROME PUG­MIRE

Paris Saint-Ger­main won its game in hand against rel­e­ga­tion­threat­ened Metz 3-1 on Tues­day to move three points clear of Lyon at the top of the French league with four games re­main­ing.

As top scorer Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic sat out the last game of this three-match ban, Uruguay striker Edin­son Ca­vani net­ted for the third straight league game and Ar­gentina mid­fielder Javier Pa­s­tore con­tin­ued his fine re­cent form by as­sist­ing on each goal.

“It’s my best sea­son so far with PSG, I’m scor­ing and set­ting up goals and I’m very happy,” said Pa­s­tore, who was PSG’s first ma­jor sign­ing when he joined from Palermo four years ago. “We’re in a good po­si­tion to win the ti­tle. The key is to con­tinue play­ing like we did to­day — we have to score a lot of goals.”

Italy mid­fielder Marco Ver­ratti scored in the 25th minute with only his sec­ond league goal in 85 games for PSG. Ca­vani made it 2-0 in the 42nd and right back Gre­gory van der Wiel added the third af­ter striker Modibo Maiga pulled a goal back for Metz shortly af­ter half­time.

Lyon has a slightly bet­ter goal dif­fer­ence than PSG: + 39 com­pared to + 36. But PSG has strong mo­men­tum with five straight wins.

Else­where, Troyes was pro­moted to the first di­vi­sion af­ter beat­ing Angers 2-1 at home.

At Parc des Princes, fans were in the mood for more goals af­ter Satur­day’s 6-1 drub­bing of Lille, and Pa­s­tore went close to mak­ing it 2-0 with a curl­ing shot that flew just over.

He then played a one-two with Ca­vani, re­leas­ing him into space, and the Uruguay for­ward beat goal­keeper An­thony Mfa with a neat fin­ish for his 12th league goal of the sea­son. Pa­s­tore also set him up with a sim­i­larly good pass against Lille.

Maiga kept Metz in the game by head­ing in Bouna Sarr’s rightwing cross in the 53rd minute for his fifth goal in four games.

PSG’s de­fense be­came edgy af­ter that goal and for­mer France winger Florent Malouda went close to an equal­izer mid­way through the sec­ond half.

But Van der Wiel’s first goal of the sea­son soothed the nerves — although the Dutch­man was a bit lucky with a low shot that Mfa let slip un­der his body.

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