Paris Saint-Germain strolled three points clear at the summit of Ligue 1 on Friday evening with a comfortable 4-0 away victory in Toulouse against hosts who played more than half the match with just 10 men.
It took the visitors less than four minutes to open the scoring via a volley from Javier Pastore, and 10 minutes before the break Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubled their tally and continued his record of scoring in every away Ligue 1 match he has played in.
Cheikh M’Bengue’s dismissal just before the break meant that Carlo Ancelotti’s side went largely untroubled thereafter, and goals from Mamadou Sakho and Gregory van der Wiel late on rubbed in their dominance.
With David Beckham yet to join up with the squad, it was another high-profile player who opened the scoring for the league leaders. Pastore made the most of a somewhat surprising start as he controlled a first-time shot into the net following a cross from Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Les Parisiens always seem to have more class in the crucial areas of the field in comparison to their opponents, and the identity of their second scorer was certainly no surprise as Ibrahimovic bagged his 20th goal for the club. Lucas Moura contributed to the Swede’s strike as he drove forward well down the right channel before delivering an intelligent cross that was dispatched tidily by the forehead of the forward.
The third goal did not arrive until 20 minutes from the end of the match, with Lucas again supplying the ammunition as another cross picked out the unmarked Sakho at the back post to head easily home.
Shortly afterwards, the home side’s misery was increased. Ibrahimovic emphasised the gulf between the sides by powering past a glut of defenders in the box to square for Van der Wiel to tap home into an empty net.
In truth, the floodgates had been threatening to burst for several minutes. Ibrahimovic was particularly unlucky not to add to his personal tally as he was twice denied in stunning fashion by Ahamada, whose athleticism to claw away a lobbed effort from the edge of the area was especially commendable.
Although Toulouse had held their own in the first period, they never really threatened to break Salvatore Sirigu’s two-month long run without conceding a Ligue 1 goal. Franck Tabanou looked their most menacing threat, but the left-winger’s efforts from range too frequently failed to find the target.
Few teams will go to the Pink City this season and enjoy quite such a straightforward success, and although the hosts were partially the masters of their own downfall due to some sloppy defending and a needless red card, this was still a result that will make PSG’s title rivals take note.
Olympique Lyonnais will draw level on points with Ancelotti’s side before the end of the weekend if they defeat Ajaccio on Sunday, but this performance serves to highlight why the capital side are considered strong favourites for the title.