Ligue 1 Wrap: Evian, Valenciennes boost survival chances, Ibrahimovic stars for PSG
By Football News
Strugglers Evian and Valenciennes picked up what could prove vital wins in their Ligue 1 survival fight on Saturday.
Evian, 17th in the French top flight, bolstered their chances of finishing outside the relegation zone come the end of the campaign thanks to a 1-0 win over Guingamp, with Cedric Cambon on target.
Majeed Waris scored the winner at the Stade du Roudourou as Valenciennes, the side immediately below Evian, registered a 2-1 win against 10-man Rennes.
Ola Toivonen opened the scoring for Rennes but Mathieu Dossevi levelled before Waris followed up his 75th-minute penalty, awarded following a foul that saw Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik sent off, to score at the second attempt and turn the tide for Ariel Jacobs' side.
Bottom side Ajaccio look all but certain to slip into Ligue 2 despite salvaging a last-gasp 2-2 draw at Nantes while Sochaux, who sit 19th, were beaten 2-1 by high-fliers Monaco.
Dimitar Berbatov scored on his first start in Ligue 1 before James Rodriguez added a second for Monaco from the penalty spot.
Despite Edouard Butin's reply, Monaco held on - aided by the late dismissal of Jordan Ayew - and moved 10 points clear of third-placed Lille.
Rene Girard's side face Montpellier on Sunday and will know that victory is imperative if they are to keep their faint hopes of an automatic UEFA Champions League spot alive.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the show for leaders Paris Saint-Germain as they moved a step closer to the title with a comfortable 3-0 win over Bastia.
The Sweden international scored the first after six minutes, moving PSG onto 100 competitive goals for the season, before producing a stunning assist for Ezequiel Lavezzi 13 minutes later.
Lavezzi added a third goal two minutes from time to wrap up an enjoyable afternoon for Laurent Blanc, although Monaco's subsequent success against Sochaux ensured PSG's lead at the summit remains eight points.
The high-scoring game of the day came at the Stadium Municipal as Toulouse fought back from two down to pick up a dramatic win against Reims.
Two first-half penalties put the visitors in a comfortable position, but Toulouse recovered to make it three wins from their last four league games thanks to goals in the final 14 minutes from Serge Aurier, Eden Ben Basat and Wissam Ben Yedder.