Ibrahimovic scores 2 and makes 2 as PSG routs Reims 4-1

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

PARIS (AP) Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice and set up two more as runaway leader Paris Saint-Germain beat Reims 4-1 to provisionally move 27 points clear of second-place Monaco on Saturday.

Ibrahimovic has 23 league goals in just 21 games, and is on course to beat his career best tally of 30, which he set three seasons ago with PSG.

He is already the club’s all-time leading scorer with 136 in all competitions, and needs just two more league goals to reach 100.

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He has also been creating them, and he set up right back Gregory van der Wiel and strike partner Edinson Cavani for goals in the first half.

Midfielder Prince Oniangue replied for Reims.

Monaco hosted last-place Troyes later Saturday.

PSG took the lead in the 12th minute as Van der Wiel latched onto a pass behind the defense from Ibrahimovic and beat goalkeeper Johann Carrasso.

Reims equalized against the run of play in the 34th when PSG’s defense dealt with a free-kick poorly and Oniangue shot past goalkeeper Kevin Trapp from close range.

But it was business as usual at Parc des Princes, with Ibrahimovic and Cavani scoring in quick succession to make it 3-1 at the break.

Ibrahimovic pounced following a goal-mouth scramble in the 43rd and Cavani – scorer of PSG’s winner in a 2-1 victory against Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday night – struck on the stroke of halftime.

Ibrahimovic made it 4-1 midway through the second half, with Van der Wiel returning the favor with a cross to the back post.

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There was almost time for a fifth goal as Ibrahimovic again turned provider for Cavani, but his volley from just outside the penalty area was well saved by Carrasso.

Before the game, Ezequiel Lavezzi bid goodbye to the home fans. The Argentina winger, who scored 22 goals in 107 league games for PSG, is leaving to join Hebei China Fortune in the ambitious Chinese Super League.

He is the latest player to be lured from a European club by one of China’s big-spending outfits. Jiangsu Suning paid $56 million for Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira and Colombian striker Jackson Martinez joined Guangzhou Evergrande for $47 million.

In Saturday’s other late games, it is: Lorient vs Guingamp, Angers vs. Montpellier, and Toulouse vs. Ajaccio.

In Sunday’s games, Marseille hosts Saint-Etienne, Caen faces Rennes, and improving Lyon travels to play Lille.