Zlatan Ibrahimovic underlined his importance to Paris Saint-Germain by returning from suspension to lead his side to a comprehensive 4-0 win over Troyes at Parc des Princes.
The home side rode out a tricky period before the break to emerge comfortable victors and the talismanic Swedish forward stole the show by setting up the first two goals before collecting two of his own to pass a career landmark of 200 league goals.
The former AC Milan man announced his return in fine style by setting up the opening goal. Ibrahimovic danced round the challenge of Rincon, after being played down the channel by Gregory van der Wiel, and his cut-back was deflected into the path of Maxwell, who slid home from just outside the six-yard box.
Troyes heads didn’t drop, however, and the visitors began to suppress PSG’s dominance. Their first chance fell to captain Mourir Obbadi, who let fly from 25-yards out but the midfielder dragged his shot wide of Sirigu’s right-hand post.
PSG should have doubled their lead on 32 minutes but neither Lavezzi nor Ibrahimovic could capitalize on good opportunities. The Argentine was first to try his luck, but his header from Sylvain Armand’s inviting cross was straight at Thuram-Ulien and his teammate could only back-heel the rebound wide.
The home side wasn't helping its own cause and Matuidi was caught in possession on the edge of his own area. The former Saint-Etienne man was given a reprieve, however, as Jean-Christophe Bahebeck could only scuff his effort into the ground, creating a simple stop for the PSG goalkeeper.
The Parc des Princes booed off their team at halftime and Troyes continued to be the more threatening side after the break.
The visitors were made to pay for their profligacy as Paris Saint-Germain broke down the field to double the lead, once again laid on by its superstar striker.
This time Ibrahimovic surged forward down the left flank and threaded through Matuidi, who struck the ball first-time beyond Thuram-Ulien and into the Troyes goal via the right-hand post.
Zlatan wasn’t finished either and he grabbed his 200th career league goal after 70 minutes. Nene, on as a substitute for Javier Pastore at the break, fed through PSG’s talisman who smashed home a ferocious effort which crashed home off the underside of the crossbar.
There was still time for the home side to add a fourth, Ibrahimovic tapping home from Lavezzi's cross in the 89th minute to compound the visitors' misery.
The win sends Paris Saint-Germain to the top of Ligue 1 after 14 matches and sees the team end its domestic winless streak after two defeats and a draw. Meanwhile, Troyes still sits in 19th position, six points adrift of safety.
- Sports & Recreation
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Parc des Princes
- Parc des Princes