A Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace saw Paris Saint Germain stretch their lead atop Ligue 1 to a massive 24 points on Sunday in a 2-0 away win over a spirited Saint Etienne.
Not only was this a club record 13th straight win, it also sees the rampaging Paris side equal Nantes’ 20-year-old record of 32 league games without defeat. PSG have not lost in Ligue 1 since a 3-2 defeat to Bordeaux on March 15 last year.
“There’s been a great deal of talk about the record and it helped me motivate the players, even if they don’t really need that,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said after the game.
“I ask a lot from the players, I demand it. And what I take away tonight as much as the record is the way this team never gives up.”
Saint Etienne coach Christophe Galtier had joked before the game that Ibrahimovic must hate his team so often does he score against them. And the giant Swede duly clinched his 18th league goal of the campaign on the hour with a certain venom before scoring his 19th, a simple tap in, with the last kick of the game.
“This team seems unbeatable,” Galtier said. “We’ve never seen anything like it in this league, not even Lyon when they were dominating everything.”
Paris now have 63 points from 23 games after twenty wins and three draws, while in second Monaco have 39 points after losing 3-0 to third placed Angers, who now have 37, on Saturday.
The hosts threw everything they had at the champions and drew several key saves from ‘keeper Kevin Trapp, notably through captain Franck Tabanou.
“My players showed great courage and we shook them up.
But we came up against a good ‘keeper,” added Galtier.
PSG’s Argentine winger Angel di Maria was a constant menace with his runs and passes and set up Ibrahimovic for a cheeky back-heel shot by lobbing the static defence.
But the opener came when when Ibrahimovic ran onto a perfectly weighted Serge Aurier cross to fire home at full stretch from the six yard line just after the hour.