Ligue 1: Ibrahimovic hat trick leads PSG to big win at Toulouse
PARIS (AP) - Zlatan Ibrahimovic took his tally to 37 goals in another remarkable season on Sunday, scoring a hat trick as defending champion Paris Saint-Germain won 4-2 at Toulouse to maintain its five-point lead over Monaco.
Ibrahimovic, who also helped set up the other goal for Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi, has scored 22 league goals and is closing in on his career-best total of 30 from last season. At this pace, he is on course to get 50 goals in all competitions.
''It was a good game. It wasn't easy to play on this pitch because it wasn't in a good state,'' said Ibrahimovic, who scored twice in the 4-0 rout of Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday. ''I feel good, very good physically. I don't know how far we can go but I hope the team keeps on playing like this, and we'll see what we can win.''
PSG is finding its best form again at just the right time and next faces bitter rival Marseille at home next weekend.
''We've scored a lot of goals in one week. It shows our attacking talent and it's going to be very hard to catch us,'' PSG midfielder Blaise Matuidi said. ''Now we can recover properly before the Marseille game.''
Toulouse coach Alain Casanova promised to attack and was true to his word, with lively striker Wissam Ben Yedder scoring twice to set up a nervous finish before Ibrahimovic converted his second penalty of the match in the last minute.
''We didn't play particularly well, because the players were a bit tired (after Tuesday night),'' PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. ''We didn't create an enormous amount of chances but we took them, and when you score four goals the coach can only be happy.''
Meanwhile, Lille fell further behind the top two after a dour 0-0 draw with Lille.
Third-place Lille is 10 points behind Monaco and one point ahead of fourth-place Saint-Etienne, while Lyon is five points behind Lille in sixth place.
PSG took the lead in the 33rd minute when Serbian defender Uros Spajic brought down Lavezzi, and Ibrahimovic drilled his spot kick down the middle with goalkeeper Zacharie Boucher guessing wrong as he dived to his right.
PSG should have scored again in the 43rd when Ibrahimovic crossed from the left and center back Thiago Silva failed to hit the target as he lunged in at the far post.
A minute later, Toulouse punished PSG for that miss when Ben Yedder volleyed in a cross from midfielder Etienne Didot.
But PSG regained the lead in the 56th when Ibrahimovic again crossed from the left, Matuidi let the ball run and Lavezzi finished with a first-time shot.
Ibrahimovic seemed to have put the result beyond doubt in the 70th, heading in substitute Yohan Cabaye's free kick after the impressive Lavezzi had been fouled, but sloppy play let Toulouse back into the game three minutes later.
After PSG midfielder Thiago Motta went to challenge forward Martin Braithwate, the ball bounced into the penalty area and Ben Yedder beat goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu with a calm finish.
Not to be outdone, Ibrahimovic went close with another header from Cabaye's free kick - which Boucher kept out - and then scored another penalty after Issiaga Sylla had handled his free kick.
Ibrahimovic was lucky, however, as he tried to dink it over Boucher. The goalkeeper saved the shot, only for the rebound to fall kindly into the Sweden forward's path.
Hardly anything happened at Lille until the hour mark, when Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes thwarted 18-year-old forward Divock Origi and then tipped away Salomon Kalou's cross before it reached striker Nolan Roux.
The game finally started to open up and, when Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier clipped the ball over onrushing goalie Vincent Enyeama, defender Pape Souare had to make a goal line clearance.
Lopes then made an excellent finger-tip save to push Origi's strike from 20 yards (meters) onto the bar, and Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette shot straight at Enyeama from a good position.
Earlier, struggling Rennes moved nine points away from the relegation zone with an impressive 3-0 win at Nantes, with Sweden forward Ola Toivonen, strike partner Paul-Georges Ntep and Norwegian midfielder Anders Konradsen getting the goals.
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