Paris Saint-Germain turned up the heat on Montpellier and turned on the style as it thrashed Ligue 1 struggler Sochaux 6-1 at the Parc des Princes on Sunday afternoon.
Javier Pastore put the hosts ahead after six minutes with his first goal in six games, before Modibo Maiga capitalized on a goalkeeper error to equalize after 12 minutes.
PSG was far better after that setback, scoring four times without reply. Thiago Motta put the hosts back in front with his first goal since joining in January, before a goal from Jeremy Menez, a double from Nene and a stoppage time goal from Sylvain Armand in the second half sealed Paris' biggest win of the season.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti again opted to drop club captain Mamadou Sakho in favor of Milan Bisevac, with the attacking duo of Kevin Gameiro and Guillaume Hoarau named on the bench, as Jeremy Menez reprised his role in attack.
And it wasn't long before les Parisiens warmed to yet another lineup change by the Italian as they broke the deadlock after just six minutes of play. Nene combined well with Javier Pastore who elicited a touch of class to drill a shot with his right foot past Teddy Richert and into the net.
Sochaux, which has been improving of late under Eric Hely, immediately hit back and was rewarded with an equalizer soon after. Marvin Martin, who ironically revealed this weekend that he would like a move to the capital club, delivered in a speculative cross which caught Alex out and left Maiga to head past the onrushing Salvatore Sirigu to make it 1-1.
PSG's lead had lasted all of six minutes, and it was lucky not to have fallen behind. Les Lionceaux's efficient counter attacking moves had bamboozled the hosts, with Maiga again picked out unmarked, only this time the Malian saw his effort come back off the post.
The hosts were rather more prudent in their attacking forays from there on, and ultimately were given a gift as they retook the lead after 25 minutes. Nene located Thiago Motta from a a free kick on the left, and the naturalized Italian was left totally unmarked to send in a fantastic diving header past the reaches of Richert.
The visitors threatened through Martin and Boudebouz, with the latter forcing Sirigu into a fine save after a powerful 20 yard effort. Yet, Sochaux was punished once more. A frantic high-pressure counterattack left Hely's men reeling and allowed Menez to head in his sixth league goal of the season from Siaka Tiene's cross just before halftime.
While PSG was touted as an expensive failure after last week's frustrating 1-1 draw with Auxerre, there would be no repeat of such lethargic finishing as the match soon became a rout.
Ten minutes after the restart, Christophe Jallet whipped in a threatening cross which evaded Richert, and left Nene to divert the ball into an empty net for a 4-1 lead. Five minutes later, the Brazilian doubled his tally in some style.
In a move akin to the hosts' fourth, Jallet was on hand to thread a delightful ball in towards Nene, who dribbled past the goalkeeper with consummate ease to tap into the net for his 16th league goal of the campaign.
The shell-shocked visitors were unable to generate any input at the other end, and were lucky not to have been punished further as Menez and Nene spurned decent opportunities before Armand made it 6-1 in stoppage time with a fine finish as Anceotti's men wrapped up a big win.
With the win, PSG moves back to within two points of Montpellier at the top of the table, and next faces incumbent champion Lille at Stadium Lille Metropole. Sochaux remains in the bottom three, and next entertains Bordeaux at home.
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- Jeremy Menez
- Thiago Motta
- Javier Pastore
- Modibo Maiga
- Teddy Richert