Zlat's The Way You Do It - Ibrahimovic Leads PSG To Another Victory

Posted by Jonathan Johnson

A Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired display meant Paris Saint-Germain continued their hot streak of form with an impressive 4-0 thumping of Bastia in Corsica. Unbeaten in 42 home matches prior to their defeat to Saint-Etienne at the Stade Armand Cesari in week 4, the Islanders were blown away by another impressive attacking performance from the capital club, just days after comprehensively dismantling Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.

Opting to make a number of changes to his starting lineup, Carlo Ancelotti gave Gregory Van der Wiel his debut at right-back whilst pairing Thiago Silva with the returning Mamadou Sakho who was captain for the day and giving Sylvain Armand a rare start at left-back. Nene was also given an opportunity to impress as Javier Pastore was given some rest after some superb recent showings.

The Italian's changes paid dividends but it was another superlative performance from Ibrahimovic that inspired the side to victory, ably assisted by standout performances from the ever-impressive Marco Verratti and Jeremy Menez. The result sees PSG maintain their grip on third spot following Lorient's late draw at home to Nice and after a slow start, les Parisiens are getting back into the reckoning for top spot.

After taking a sixth-minute lead through Menez, Ancelotti's men doubled their lead five minutes before the break through 'Ibra'. The Swede, who had set up Menez's opener, had a hand in the move that lead to Blaise Matuidi making it 3-0 before the towering striker applied gloss to the scoreline with a fourth, his seventh of the season, in the dying moments.

After back-to-back wins at the start of the season, Bastia's problem has been keeping opposing teams at bay. Coming into the game with Ligue 1's worst defence, the hosts' frailties were soon exposed again as Menez opened the scoring. The French international was left unmarked by the Bastia defence, and so when Ibrahimovic turned Nene's free-kick back across goal, Menez had time and space to tuck away his first goal of the season.

While another intelligent piece of play from 'Ibra' set up Matuidi for a shot that he wasted, Wahbi Khazri set about trying to get Bastia back into the match. A long-range drive was palmed behind by Salvatore Sirigu before the Italian goalkeeper produced a magnificent diving stop to deny Khazri's goal-bound free-kick to safety.

Sambou Yatabare should have equalised but instead blazed well over the bar after rolling smartly round Thiago Silva, who was making his eague debut in PSG colours, and the midfielder was made to rue his mistake when Ibrahimovic exchanged passes with the sublime Marco Verratti before deftly touching the ball beyond goalkeeper Novaes.

Jeremy Choplin should have reduced the visitors' lead but instead miscued his header across the face of Sirigu's goal early in the second half, and substitute Florian Thauvin then tested the Italian goalkeeper once again - Sirigu diving full-length to turn the Bastia man's low shot behind.

Once again though, a Sirigu save preceded his side scoring, and after being given the ball by Ibrahimovic, Nene slipped a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Blaise Matuidi, who claimed his second league goal in PSG colours with a sliding finish.

With the points already assured, Sirigu produced another world-class save to deny Toifilou Maoulida a consolation strike before Ibrahimovic sprung the hosts' poorly-executed offside trap, latching onto Nene's lofted pass to complete a convincing performance.

Making no fewer than four changes to a strong previous lineup, the victory is an illustration of the depth that Ancelotti now has available to him. An impressive showing, not only did the capital club once again show a rapidly-developing understanding and team spirit but they also kept a fourth clean sheet of the season. The backline was something of an achilles heel for the side last season but that seems to have been addressed already and the movement away from being a team brimming with talent but playing as a set of individuals to functioning as a coherent unit is extremely encouraging.

Next up: strugglers Sochaux reinvigorated by their two recent surprise wins visit the Parc des Princes.

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