PARIS: Not for the first time, 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 (Sunday in Manila).
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 crowd of more than 30,000.
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 caused us problems on the counter in the first half. They undoubtedly worked on that. They were very, very defensive,” admitted Blanc.
“That’s their way of playing. We were in difficulty in the first half because we were not as dominant as usual.
“When you dominate in every area it is quite easy but it wasn’t the case here,” added Blanc, who blamed the state of the pitch for his team’s inability to play their usual game and for the injury that forced Marquinhos off in the second half.
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.