Ibrahimovic becomes PSG's top league scorer in Nice win
ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 05, 2015 08:31 AM
PSG's Zlatan Ibrahimovic reacts, during the French League One soccer match between Nice and Paris Saint Germain, Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Nice stadium, southeastern France. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
AP Sports Writer
PARIS (AP) — Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic set another Paris Saint-Germain record Friday, scoring twice in a 3-0 win at Nice to become the club's outright all-time leading league scorer.
The 34-year-old Swede is already PSG's all-time leading scorer with 119 goals in all competitions, but his two goals took him to 87 in the league — surpassing the record of 85 he shared with Mustapha Dahleb.
"We knew he would get that record, it was just a matter of when," PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. "The lad scores an enormous amount of goals and he hasn't finished scoring yet."
But Blanc was evasive when asked if he thinks Ibrahimovic, whose contract runs out in June, will play for PSG next season.
"He has been, he is and he may still be vital to PSG's project," Blanc said.
Ibrahimovic is also the league's top scorer this season with 12 and best passer with six assists.
Led by the trickery of winger Hatem Ben Arfa, Nice started brightly but faded after Cavani's 35th-minute tap-in, set up by Ibrahimovic from the left.
Swedish midfielder Niklas Hult was sent off seven minutes later for fouling Ibrahimovic, who scored the resulting penalty.
PSG leads second-place Caen by 16 points ahead of this weekend's games.
Nice had PSG on the back foot early on, using Ben Arfa's skills through the middle and stretching the fullbacks.
With Nice's vocal crowd whipping up a hostile atmosphere, referee Antony Gautier warned PSG left back Layvin Kurzawa —who used to play for Nice's local rival Monaco — not to respond after being goaded by fans.
PSG's first chance fell to Ibrahimovic, who got the better of defender Mathieu Bodmer on the edge of the penalty area but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale.
After Nice midfielder Jean Michael Seri shot straight at goalie Kevin Trapp, Ben Arfa mesmerized PSG midfielder Benjamin Stambouli with a brilliant change of direction, skipped past two players and curled a shot just over from 20 yards.
PSG opened the scoring when Ibrahimovic flicked a pass up to midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who headed it back and Ibrahimovic set up Cavani for his ninth league goal of the campaign.
After Bodmer headed Ben Arfa's free kick straight at Trapp, PSG struck again.
Ibrahimovic latched onto Cavan's pass from the left and looked certain to score before Hult tugged him back. Ibrahimovic confidently beat Cardinale from the spot.
PSG coasted through the second half, with Ibrahimovic, Angel di Maria and Thiago Motta missing good chances.
The pressure finally told in the 61st when Di Maria picked out Ibrahimovic on the right and he drilled a low shot inside the near post.
Ibrahimovic — taken off 15 minutes from the end — gave his jersey to a delighted young boy who approached the bench to ask him for it.