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PSG Reclaims Five-Point Lead Thanks to Ibra Triple
Associated Press, February 24th, 2014 11:06AM
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat trick as Paris Saint-Germain won 4-2 at Toulouse on Sunday to maintain a five-point lead over second-place AS Monaco in Ligue 1. Following a tense opening 30 minutes, Ibrahimovic opened the scoring from the spot after Ezequiel Lavezzi was taken down in the area, but Toulouse striker Wissam Ben Yedder equalized with a fine volley just before halftime. Ten minutes into the second half, Ibra fed Lavezzi for the go-ahead goal before heading home a third from a Yohan Cabaye free kick in the 68th-minute. Toulouse pulled another one back through Ben Yedder four minutes later, setting up a nervous finish, but with one minute to go, the big Swede secured the points for PSG by hammering home the rebound from his spot kick and completing his hat trick.

''It was a good game. It wasn't easy to play on this field because it wasn't in a good state,'' Ibrahimovic, who scored twice in the 4-0 rout of Bayer Leverkusen in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, said after the game. Ibra already has 37 goals in all competitions so far this season, including 22 in Ligue 1. “I feel good, very good physically. I don't know how far we can go but I hope the team keeps on playing like this, and we'll see what we can win,” he added.

PSG coach Laurent Blanc noted that the win was important, even though his team didn’t play its best. “We didn't play particularly well, because the players were a bit tired (after the game vs. Bayern on Tuesday night),” Blanc said. “We didn't create an enormous amount of chances but we took them, and when you score four goals the coach can only be happy.”

On Friday, Monaco managed to stay in the title race thanks to a thrilling 3-2 win at home to Reims, after the visitor came from behind twice. Monaco defender Layvin Kurzawa continued his fine scoring form with a goal five minutes into stoppage time to secure the points for the principality club.

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