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April 16, 2016

PARIS (AP) — Zlatan Ibrahimovic's brace earned him a season-best 32 goals in the French league as Paris Saint-Germain took out its Champions League frustration on Caen on Saturday.

Four days after losing at Manchester City 1-0 to exit the Champions League quarterfinals, PSG thrashed Caen 6-0 to seal a 27th win in 34 rounds.

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Ibrahimovic, the league top-scorer, slotted home with a low shot past goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre early on and added another in the second half. He's the first player to score more than 30 in a season in France's top division since Carlos Bianchi scored 37 in 1977-78.

Blaise Matuidi, Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria, and Maxwell scored PSG's other goals.

Ibrahimovic, who missed a first-leg penalty against City and failed to make an impact in the return leg, was singled out for PSG's Champions League defeat.

His good showing against Caen - a team that managed only four points from its last six games - is likely to give more arguments to his detractors, who claim he scores when the pressure is off and struggles against big teams.

PSG, which sealed a fourth straight league title with a record eight games to spare last month, can still replicate the domestic treble it achieved last season. PSG plays in the League Cup final against Lille on April 23, and travels to Lorient next week in the French Cup semifinals.

"We lifted our heads out of the water," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. "But this win did not wipe anything away, it won't allow us to play in the Champions League semifinal. But it's important for the rest of the season."

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After being criticized for his decision to play an untried 3-5-2 formation at Manchester City, manager Laurent Blanc was booed by PSG fans at the Parc des Princes when his name was announced by the stadium's speaker.

Blanc switched back to a more conventional 4-3-3 and made defensive changes, giving reserve keeper Salvatore Sirigu a start in place of Kevin Trapp behind a four-back line of Gregory Van der Wiel, Presnel Kimpembe, Marquinhos, and Layvin Kurzawa.

Elsewhere, Saint-Etienne remained in the battle for the Champions League spots with a 1-0 win at Bastia, reducing the gap with second-place Lyon to two points.

Promoted Angers won at Bordeaux 3-1, Lorient and Toulouse drew 1-1, struggling Ajaccio lost at home against Lille 4-2, and Troyes, which has already been demoted, handed Reims a 2-1 loss.

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