Zlatan Ibrahimovic bags winning brace on return for PSG


Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrated his return to action with a brace of goals as Paris St Germain beat Nantes 2-1 at the Parc des Princes to climb to the top of Ligue 1. The talismanic Sweden striker was rested for PSG's midweek draw at Lille due to his troublesome heel injury, but produced a man-of-the-match display against Michel Der Zakarian's side, with goals in the 34th and 48th minutes after Alejandro Bedoya had given Nantes an early lead. Victory for Laurent Blanc's side meant they leapfrogged Marseille into top spot, although Marcelo Bielsa's team will return to first place should they beat Metz at home on Sunday evening. Nantes made a blistering start to the game and found themselves in the lead after seven minutes when the ball fell to Bedoya 25 yards out and the American midfielder drilled a stunning effort beyond Salvatore Sirigu into the far corner to silence the Parc des Princes faithful. Les Canaris thought they had doubled their lead when Oswaldo Vizcarrondo powered an effort beyond Sirigu just a few minutes later, but the linesman's flag brought a huge sigh of relief from Blanc and his team. The hosts responded and, when Ezequiel Lavezzi went down following some contact from Issa Cissokho inside the area, PSG thought they had a penalty but referee Benoit Bastien was unmoved despite Ibrahimovic's fury. However, with 33 minutes on the clock, PSG's star striker had reason to smile when he latched on to Lucas' low cross to poke the ball beyond Remy Riou to draw the reigning French champions level. And PSG could have been ahead moments before the interval when Thiago Silva met Lavezzi's superb delivery but his header was kept out by the legs of Riou. Blanc's team did not have to wait long after the restart, though, and they took the lead in superb fashion when Ibrahimovic thumped a trademark 25-yard free-kick beyond the diving Riou, prompting wild celebrations. Now in full control, the hosts continued to create chances and Ibrahimovic turned provider when he knocked down for Lucas, but the former Sao Paulo forward flashed a half volley inches wide. Lavezzi was guilty of a glaring miss on 68 minutes when the marauding Serge Aurier picked him out, but the diminutive Argentinian failed to find the target, before Bedoya put a free header wide at the other end during a rare Nantes attack.