PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain established a new Ligue 1 record on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) as they stretched their unbeaten streak to 33 matches by easing past Lorient 3-1 at the Parc des Princes.
Edinson Cavani was given a rare start by Laurent Blanc and justified his manager’s decision by opening the scoring in only the sixth minute.
Lorient struck back midway through the first half with a well-worked equalizer from Raphael Guerreiro.
The defending champions forged ahead again though with a Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal 10 minutes after half-time.
PSG were not at their fluent best, but Layvin Kurzawa made it three with an excellent strike.
Blanc rang the changes, six in all, from the side that equalled the record Nantes set over 20 years ago by winning at Saint-Etienne on Sunday.
“We can be very pleased tonight. The record, it really is something”, Blanc said after his side’s 14th win in a row.
It did not take the champions-elect long to get into their stride and Cavani eased any possible early nerves by latching onto an Ibrahimovic through ball, rounding Lorient goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte and slotting into an empty net.
PSG were in dominant form early on, and after Ibrahimovic had a long-range free-kick saved by Lecomte, Marquinhos headed the resulting corner narrowly wide.
But Lorient showed that they were not just in the capital to make up the numbers, and they drew level in the 19th minute.
A cute backheel from striker Majeed Waris released marauding left-back Guerreiro, who finished confidently past home stopper Kevin Trapp.
Lorient continued to hold their own, although Lecomte had to be alert to tip away another Ibrahimovic set-piece.
Uruguayan Cavani almost restored the hosts’ advantage early in the second period when he caught out Lecomte with an impudent lob, but the ball rebounded back off the post.
A matter of seconds later PSG broke their visitors’ resistance as talismanic striker Ibrahimovic tapped in Kurzawa’s cross for his 20th league goal of the season.
Full-back Kurzawa had a fantastic match on his return from a knock that ruled him out of the game at the weekend, and he capped his display with a fine volley to seal all three points for his team.
Angel di Maria and Cavani both missed chances to add a fourth, while Walid Mesloub was denied at the other end by Trapp.
But those late exchanges were mere footnotes in a win that enters PSG into the record books and keeps them a staggering 24 points clear at the top of the table.
With a crucial Champions League last 16 tie against Chelsea starting on February 16, Blanc still wants further improvement
Earlier, Alexandre Lacazette struck twice as Lyon secured a welcome 3-0 win over Bordeaux for just their second victory in 11 matches.
Lacazette struck four minutes prior to half-time at Parc OL before quick-fire goals from Lacazette and Aldo Kalulu late on ensured Bruno Genesio’s side put an end to Bordeaux’s seven-game unbeaten run.
France international Mathieu Debuchy made his Bordeaux debut following his loan move from Arsenal, while Uruguayan striker Diego Rolan was twice denied by fine saves from Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.
Lyon climbed back into the top half of the table, above 10th-place Bordeaux on goal difference, and are six points adrift of the Champions League spots.
Nice leapfrogged Angers into third as Hatem Ben Arfa grabbed his 11th goal of the campaign in a 1-0 win over Toulouse, while 10-man Angers were beaten 2-1 at Reims.
Nantes extended their unbeaten streak to 10 matches following a 3-1 victory over Gazelec Ajaccio, Guingamp condemned lowly Troyes to a 4-0 defeat and Lille earned a 1-0 win over Caen.