Paris Saint-Germain consolidated their eight-point lead at the Ligue 1 summit by beating European hopefuls AS Saint-Étienne 2-0 at the Parc des Princes.
Christophe Galtier's men were one of only two teams to leave the Parc with three points last season, but Les Verts were up against it when Zlatan Ibrahimović broke the deadlock courtesy of a deflected low drive on 14 minutes.
The irrepressible Swedish frontman then put the game beyond St-Étienne on the cusp of half-time, meeting Edinson Cavani's centre with a deft close-range flick. It was Ibrahimović's 40th goal of the season for Paris in all competitions and it consigned the visitors to back-to-back defeats for the first time since September.
Earlier, Dimitar Berbatov had scored one and laid on another two goals as second-placed AS Monaco FC prevailed 3-2 at Olympique Lyonnais. The Bulgarian forward's lay-off allowed deputising captain Valère Germain to beat Anthony Lopes inside five minutes, and he then served up a deep cross for James Rodríguez to score his seventh of the campaign.
Berbatov's impeccable outside-of-the-foot finish was sandwiched between two Jimmy Briand strikes as a resilient Lyon clawed their way back into the contest, but Claudio Ranieri's charges came away with the spoils.
Lastly, Brazilian centre-backs Henrique and Hilton traded blows as Montpellier Hérault SC drew 1-1 with FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
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|Last updated: 16/03/2014 22:55 CET|
Ibrahimović 14, 41
Briand 32, 78
Yatabaré 13, Beauvue 74
Contout 7, Sunzu 79
|2||AS Monaco FC||29||62|
|6||Olympique de Marseille||29||44|
|7||Stade de Reims||29||43|
|9||FC Girondins de Bordeaux||29||41|
|14||Montpellier Hérault SC||29||34|
|16||Stade Rennais FC||29||31|
|17||Évian Thonon Gaillard FC||29||30|