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Mar 9, 2013

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores 2 to rally PSG

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice as Ligue 1 leader Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat lowly Nancy 2-1 at the Parc des Princes on Saturday.

David Beckham had to make do with a cameo substitute appearance as his Swedish club-mate stole the attention again with two second-half goals in the space of three minutes, following Benjamin Moukandjo's first-half opener for the visitors.

Victory for PSG lifted it five points clear at the summit of Ligue 1, ahead of Sunday's clash between second-placed Lyon and third-placed Marseille, while a fourth league defeat in five for their opponents left Nancy six points adrift of safety.

Surprisingly it was Nancy that started brighter, with Lossemy Karaboue taking responsibility in midfield and forcing a good save from Salvatore Sirigu with a stinging 25-yard effort.

The hosts sprung into life soon afterward and Blaise Matuidi found himself one-on-one with Damien Gregorini, but the goalkeeper closed the gap well and the midfielder's shot found the side-netting.

Yassine Jebbour went even closer for Nancy on the half-hour mark but, after cutting in from the left and making space for a shot in the area, his effort was pushed against the left post by Sirigu.

The Parc des Princes was shocked into silence in the 39th minute when Nancy got a reward for its early hard work. Djamel Bakar played in Moukandjo whose header looped over Sirigu after his first effort was saved by the Italian goalkeeper.

PSG almost had an equalizer just before the break after Ibrahimovic picked out Lucas Moura superbly, but the Brazilian's effort was kept out by a superb Gregorini save.

Carlo Ancelotti replaced the disappointing Javier Pastore with winger Jeremy Menez at the break.

Ibrahimovic then found himself clean through, but Gregorini came out on top again as the Swede struggled to find the right angle.

The hosts continued to press and felt they should have a penalty when Ibrahimovic came together with Jordan Loties but nothing was given, yet the Parisians soon had their equalizer.

Menez poked the ball into the path of Ibrahimovic after Sebastien Puygrenier had squandered possession and this time the striker made no mistake when faced with Gregorini to score his 23rd league goal of the season.

The Swede had not finished there and three minutes later he fired PSG into the lead. Gregorini misjudged a Marco Verratti ball over the top and Ibrahimovic rounded the goalkeeper to delight the home support.

With Nancy pressing for an equalizer, Ancelotti brought Beckham on with quarter of an hour left but the visitors nearly grabbed an equalizer at the death.

With the PSG defense all at sea, substitute Florent Zitte's effort came back off a post after a Thiago Silva deflection.

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