Ibrahimovic double inspires PSG to comeback win
Paris: Paris Saint-Germain avoided an embarrassing result again relegation-battling Nancy as they came from behind to win 2-1 at the Parc des Princes.
After an impressive first-half display from the visitors, Benjamin Moukandjo`s goal ensured they held the advantage at the break. However, they could not maintain their defensive resilience for the subsequent 45 minutes as a Zlatan Ibrahimovic double overturned the score and handed Carlo Ancelotti`s men all three points.
Surprisingly, Nancy were in control of possession during the early exchanges but after Lossemy Karaboue warmed the gloves of Salvatore Sirigu in the eighth minute, PSG soon woke up.
With 12 minutes played, Blaise Matuidi raced into a gaping hole in the Nancy defence and was put through one-on-one with Damien Gregorini. The midfielder tried to roll the ball past the keeper and into the bottom corner but could only find the side netting.
Les Parisiens were being stifled by Patrick Gabriel`s men, who were executing their game plan of defending compactly and playing on the break superbly.
Following one such venture forward it took a strong hand from Sirigu to divert Yassine Jebbour`s 27th-minute strike away from the top corner and onto the bar.
Next time around, though, fortune favoured the attacker. A stray ball from Javier Pastore gifted Djamel Bakar possession and he used it brilliantly to slip Moukandjo in on goal. His initial shot was blocked by Sirigu but as the ball looped up off the keeper, he headed it into the goal.
Bakar then almost got one himself moments later but the crowd were left wondering how their side were not level moments before the break as, having sprung the offside trap, Lucas Moura failed to steer his shot past Gregorini.
Ancelotti clearly had strong words for his side at the break and within three minutes of the restart they worked an opening for Ibrahimovic. You would have bet on the Swede tucking it away, but Gregorini stood tall and turned the striker`s chipped effort away.
Nancy had lost their attacking edge and were clearly hoping to hold out for the win. But such thoughts were dashed in the 59th minute when Sebastian Puygrenier`s poor control enabled Jeremy Menez to feed Ibrahimovic in the area and the Swede guided a low shot into the bottom corner.
Three minutes later, the visitors` resistance crumbled as Gregorini undid all his good work by charging out of his area and coming second to the ball in a race with Ibrahimovic, enabling the striker to pass into the back of the net.
The momentum that les Parisiens gained from the goals soon fizzled out and they were unable to add to their tally as Nancy recovered from that lapse to defend resolutely once more.
Florent Zitte almost snatched an equaliser late on as his deflected shot rattled the post, and Puygrenier then smashed a great opportunity high into the stands moments later, but the hosts held on for all three points.
Paris Saint-Germain could now see their grip on pole position in Ligue 1 tighten as Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique de Marseille, both second and third in the table respectively, go head-to-head on Sunday.