|Nice hat-trick for Zlatan|
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain geared up for their Champions League clash against Manchester City with a 4-1 Ligue 1 home win over Nice on Saturday. Ibrahimovic scored twice in the first half and once in the second, while David Luiz added a third in the second half after Hatem Ben Arfa had pulled one back for the visitors early on.
PSG, who were crowned champions last month, have 80 points and with six games left lead second-placed Monaco, who lost 2-1 at home to Bordeaux on Friday, by 25 points. Nice, who had a chance to reduce the gap with Monaco to two points, lag in third place five points behind. They will be leapfrogged by Lyon if they beat Lorient away on Sunday.
At the Parc des Princes, there was a minute of applause when the face of the former Holland great Johan Cruyff, who died last week, appeared on the giant screen. Having lost and drawn their past two league games, anything other than a win would have damaged PSG’s confidence before they take on City in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring in the 15th minute with a powerful cross shot after being set up by David Luiz. Ben Arfa, who hopes to make it into France coach Didier Deschamps’s 23-man squad for Euro 2016, responded with a superb curling shot that went past Kevin Trapp.
The Sweden striker Ibrahimovic put Laurent Blanc’s side ahead again with a free-kick into the top corner in the 34th minute. David Luiz gave PSG a two-goal lead three minutes into the second half with a downward header from a corner.
Ibrahimovic wrapped it up eight minutes from time from close range by latching on to Adrien Rabiot’s cross for his 30th league goal in the season, equalling his tally from the 2012-13 season. The last player to score more than 30 goals in a French top-flight season was Argentina’s Carlos Bianchi for Stade de Reims in 1975-76, with 34.