PSG sets French league record with 33rd game unbeaten
The capital team has not lost in the league since a 3-2 defeat away to Bordeaux on March 15
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored again as Paris Saint-Germain beat Lorient 3-1 to set a new French league record of 33 consecutive games unbeaten on Wednesday.
After creating the opening goal for strike partner Edinson Cavani early in the first half, Ibrahimovic grabbed his league-leading 20th of the season shortly after the break as PSG eclipsed the record set by Nantes 21 years ago.
Left-back Layvin Kurzawa added another goal midway through the second half to cap a fine night for PSG, which leads second-place Monaco by 24 points after just 24 games and could clinch a fourth straight title as early as March.
“It was a difficult game, and we had a bit of problem playing the way we wanted,” Kurzawa said. “But everyone’s happy that we’re continuing our unbeaten run.”
PSG has not lost in the league since a 3-2 defeat away to Bordeaux on March 15.
“The record means something, but the performance itself was pretty mixed. We reacted more than we dictated play, which hasn’t happened to us for a while,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc said. “But I take my share of responsibility for that, because by rotating the squad so much it’s normal that we encounter some problems. (But) it keeps certain players fresh, and they need it. First and foremost, I think about the team.”
PSG faces Chelsea in two weeks in the first leg of their last 16 matchup in the Champions League, and the result of that match could bear heavily on Blanc’s future.
His contract expires at the end of the season and he recently said talks were no more advanced, although with 72 wins and only six losses in his 100 league games as PSG coach, he has some serious bargaining power.
Cavani, who has been relegated to the bench in recent games, made an immediate impact in the sixth minute. Ibrahimovic found him with a pass and he rounded goalkeeper Benjamin Lecomte before finishing comfortably.
But the lead was short-lived as fullback Raphael Guerreiro equalized by latching onto a back-heel pass from striker Majeed Waris.
“You can only admire their unbeaten record,” Lorient coach Sylvain Ripoll said. “The final score is a bit harsh. There was everything to play for at halftime, but we didn’t start the second half so well.”
Ibrahimovic turned in a cross from Kurzawa 10 minutes after the break and Cavani hit the post shortly after with an astute lob.
After Lorient substitute Jimmy Cabot had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, Kurzawa went from provider to finisher with a well-taken volley after Lorient failed to properly clear the ball.
PSG’s daunting unbeaten run includes 30 wins and just three draws, whereas Nantes was less dominant with 19 wins and 13 draws.
Blanc’s team heads into Sunday’s showdown at bitter rival Marseille in ominous form and a plus-50 goal difference.
Meanwhile, Nice climbed above Angers and into third place thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win against struggling Toulouse, which was languishing in 19th place.
Winger Hatem Ben Arfa scored Nice’s winner in the 82nd after making a brilliant solo run down the left and beating 17-year-old goalie Alban Lafont for his 11th goal of the season.
Despite taking an early lead, Angers lost 2-1 at Reims.
Nantes moved up to sixth place after beating Corsican side Gazelec Ajaccio 3-1, and striker Alexandre Lacazette scored twice as Lyon beat Bordeaux 3-0 to move up to ninth.
Also, improving Lille beat Caen 1-0, and Guingamp beat last-place Troyes 4-0.
Rennes hosts Saint-Etienne on Thursday.