INTERNATIONAL | LIGUE 1
Ibrahimovic goal secures maximum points for PSG
Paris Saint-Germain were grateful to Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the Swede's second-half goal secured a 1-0 win away to Toulouse in Ligue 1 on Saturday.
It was far from a vintage performance from the champions and relegation-threatened Toulouse were unlucky not to take anything from the game on the day their refurbished stadium was officially inaugurated before a full house of around 33,000.
Ibrahimovic converted from close range in the 73rd minute after David Luiz had helped on a Lucas corner to give PSG their ninth consecutive win in all competitions and allow them to extend their enormous lead at the top of the table to 23 points from Angers in second.
Laurent Blanc's side are still undefeated in domestic competition this season and this result allowed them to extend their club record unbeaten run in the league to 30 matches going back to last March.
Toulouse remain in the relegation zone but they had lost just once in nine outings before this game and they will at least have been buoyed by their display in the first of three meetings with the capital side in quick succession.
Dominique Arribage's team travel to Paris on French Cup duty on Tuesday evening and then go back to the Parc des Princes in the semi-finals of the League Cup on January 27.
PSG were missing the injured Thiago Silva and Angel di Maria due to injury and their afternoon did not get off to the best of starts as Javier Pastore -- starting a league game for the first time since October -- hobbled off with an apparent calf problem to be replaced by Edinson Cavani in the 18th minute.
Toulouse were the better team in the first half and their leading scorer Wisam Ben Yedder, fresh from netting eight times in five games, came closest to breaking the deadlock, lashing a shot off the bar from 12 yards.
His free-kick then came to nothing after Marquinhos had brought down Tongo Hamed Doumbia right on the edge of the penalty area.
Marquinhos also came off hurt on the hour mark, making way for Gregory van der Wiel, but Paris started to threaten and Ibrahimovic teed up Lucas Moura to fire just wide.
Ibrahimovic finally got the breakthrough soon after, beating Toulouse's 16-year-old goalkeeper Alban Lafont to score his 16th league goal of the season, all of which have come in his last 14 games.
Such a scoring run would have impressed Just Fontaine, the France striking great who was present at Le Stadium to help unveil a stand that will carry his name.
On Friday, Angers lost 2-1 at Nice, who moved above Cote d'Azur rivals Monaco into third as two late penalties by Hatem Ben Arfa turned the game around after Pierrick Capelle's first-half opener.
Monaco can go second and trim PSG's lead to a mere 21 points with a win at Lorient on Sunday before Saint-Etienne host Lyon in the Rhone-Alpes derby.