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Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat trick lifts PSG

Zlatan Ibrahimovic took his tally to 37 goals in another remarkable season, scoring a hat trick on Sunday as defending champions Paris Saint-Germain won 4-2 at Toulouse to maintain their five-point lead over Monaco at the top of Ligue 1.

Ibrahimovic, who also helped set up the other goal for Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi, has 22 league goals and is closing in on his career-best total of 30 from last season. At this pace, he is on course to get 50 goals in all competitions.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his goals for PSG.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his goals for PSG.

PSG took the lead in the 33rd minute when Serbian defender Uros Spajic brought down Lavezzi, and Ibrahimovic drilled his spot kick down the middle with goalkeeper Zacharie Boucher guessing wrong as he dived to his right.

Toulouse equalised in the 44th minute when lively striker Wissam Ben Yedder volleyed in a cross from midfielder Etienne Didot.

But PSG regained the lead in the 56th minute when Ibrahimovic again crossed from the left, midfielder Blaise Matuidi let the ball run and Lavezzi finished with a first-time shot.

Ibrahimovic seemed to have put the result beyond doubt in the 70th minute, heading in substitute Yohan Cabaye's free kick after the impressive Lavezzi had been fouled, but sloppy play let Toulouse back into the game three minutes later.

After PSG midfielder Thiago Motta went to challenge forward Martin Braithwate, the ball bounced into the penalty area and Ben Yedder beat goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu with a calm finish.

Not to be outdone, Ibrahimovic went close with another header from Cabaye's free kick -- which Boucher kept out -- and then scored another penalty after Issiaga Sylla had handled his free kick. Ibrahimovic was lucky, however, as he tried to dink it over Boucher. The goalkeeper saved the shot, only for the rebound to fall kindly into the Sweden forward's path.

Lille fell further behind the top two after a dour 0-0 draw with Lyon.

Hardly anything happened at Lille until the hour mark, when Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes thwarted 18-year-old forward Divock Origi and then tipped away Salomon Kalou's cross before it reached striker Nolan Roux.

The game finally started to open up and, when Lyon midfielder Clement Grenier clipped the ball over onrushing goalie Vincent Enyeama, defender Pape Souare had to make a goal line clearance.

Lopes then made an excellent finger-tip save to push Origi's strike from 20 yards (meters) onto the bar, and Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette shot straight at Enyeama from a good position.

Earlier, struggling Rennes moved nine points away from the relegation zone with an impressive 3-0 win at Nantes.

Sweden forward Ola Toivonen, strike partner Paul-Georges Ntep and Norwegian midfielder Anders Konradsen scored the goals.


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