PSG beat Reims, extend Ligue 1 lead - NBC Sports

PSG beat Reims, extend Ligue 1 lead
November 23, 2013, 2:15 pm

REIMS, France (AP) - Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lucas Moura and Jeremy Menez scored as Paris Saint-Germain beat Reims 3-0 Saturday to provisionally move seven points clear at the top of the French league.

Lucas fired into the top corner in the 24th minute before Menez added a second from a tight angle in the 60th.

Ibrahimovic scored his ninth league goal this season to seal the win from 25 yards in stoppage time.

Reims midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak missed a penalty in the 68th.

PSG has not lost a match since a 1-0 defeat at Reims in March.

"We learnt our lesson from last season's loss and did not make the same mistakes," PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu told Canal Plus television. "We're changing as a team. We're improving in every match."

Marseille beat Ajaccio 3-1 Friday to pull within two points of third-place Monaco.

Later Saturday, it's: Evian vs. Lorient; Lyon vs. Valenciennes; Montpellier vs. Guingamp; Rennes vs. Bordeaux; and Sochaux vs. Bastia.

On Sunday, second-place Lille hosts Toulouse, Monaco visits Nantes, and Saint-Etienne faces Nice.

Reims created the first scoring chance after six minutes. Fullback Aissa Mandi escaped the marking of Thiago Motta at the far post to head a corner from Floyd Ayite but Sirigu dived to palm the ball away.

PSG coach Laurent Blanc rested some of his key players, leaving Blaise Matuidi, Edinson Cavani, Maxwell and Ezequiel Lavezzi on the bench.

That did not prevent PSG from exploiting Reims with the pace of wingers Lucas and Menez.

Lucas headed wide a cross from Christophe Jallet in the 23rd. But the Brazilian winger did not miss the target in the next minute.

Lucas won a header to redirect a clearance from Sirigu into the path of Ibrahimovic. The Sweden striker played the ball back to Lucas, who outpaced Reims centerback Mickael Tacalfred and shot past goalkeeper Kossi Agassa.

Reims came close to equalizing in the 43rd. Tacalfred's long-range strike took a deflection off a PSG defender but Sirigu jumped to tip the ball over the bar. From the following corner, Sirigu spilled the ball and was lucky to see Reims striker Gaetan Courtet's flick cleared off the line by Marco Verratti.

PSG pushed for a second goal, but Agassi stopped tame efforts from Lucas in the 45th and Menez in the 50th.

However, Menez proved more clinical when Jallet made an interception to lead a counter-attack. Verratti played Menez in and the PSG winger slammed the ball into the roof of the net from six yards.

Reims did not give up despite this two-goal deficit, forcing Sirigu to parry a long-range volley from Mads Albaek in the 65th and a downward header from Mohamed Fofana in the 75th.

Verratti gave away a penalty by tripping Ayite in the 67th but Krychowiak fired over the bar.

Denied by Agassa in the 79th and 89th, Ibrahimovic got his revenge in the 91st. Agassa's throw bounced off Tacalfred and Ibrahimovic pounced on the loose ball to score with a first-time effort. 

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