- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

PARIS (AP) - Paris Saint-Germain increased its lead over Monaco at the top of the French league to eight points on Sunday after a 2-0 victory over Marseille.

Brazilian leftback Maxwell collected a pass from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score with a low strike in the 50th minute.

Edinson Cavani doubled the lead by heading a cross from Gregory Van der Wiel into the bottom corner in the 79th. The Uruguay forward was playing his first match since recovering from a thigh injury and replaced PSG winger Ezequiel Lavezzi in the 69th.

“We made the difference by dominating ball possession,” PSG coach Laurent Blanc told Canal Plus television. “We forced them to defend. They were prepared to defend but they won very few balls.”

Marseille stayed fifth in the league, six points behind Lille in third place. Second-place Monaco lost 2-0 at Saint-Etienne on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Salomon Kalou scored a hat trick on Sunday to help Lille stay third with a 3-2 win at last-place Ajaccio, while Lyon lost ground in the race for a European spot by drawing 0-0 with mid-table Montpellier.

PSG wingers Lavezzi and Lucas Moura troubled the Marseille defense with their pace. Moura slipped a through ball to Lavezzi, who rounded goalkeeper Steve Mandanda but fired wide in the seventh minute instead of feeding Ibrahimovic for a simple tap-in.

Moura showed off his dribbling skills in the 14th with an amazing 70-yard (meter) solo run. The Brazilian winger skipped past five players to chip Mandanda, but Marseille rightback Rod Fanni rushed back to clear the ball off the line.

The hosts converted their domination into a goal shortly after halftime when Ibrahimovic won the ball on the edge of the Marseille box to set up Maxwell.

Some neat one-touch passing involving Marco Verratti, Moura and Van der Wiel led to Cavani’s goal and PSG could have added a third from a counterattack in the 85th. Moura found Ibrahimovic on the edge of the box, but the Sweden striker sent his lob over the bar.

In Ajaccio, Kalou scored the winner from the penalty spot in the 74th minute after Grenddy Perozo fouled Lille forward Nolan Roux.

“We lacked technical accuracy and we were shaky defensively,” Lille coach Rene Girard told BeIn Sport television. “We took three points today, but that’s really it.”

Ajaccio striker Gadji Tallo put the hosts ahead in the opening minute by converting a cross from Sigamary Diarra.

Kalou leveled with a penalty in the 26th after Ajaccio midfielder Johan Cavalli handled the ball inside the area. The Ivory Coast forward then volleyed home a cross from Jonathan Delaplace to give Lille the lead in the 38th.

But Tallo equalized three minutes before halftime by chipping goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

“I think Lille played with 12 men,” said Ajaccio coach Christian Bracconi, who was sent off in the 77th for dissent. “I believe we deserved a draw. It’s a feeling of injustice.”

Lille was down to 10 men in the 80th when defender Adama Soumaoro was red-carded for a two-footed lunge on Dennis Oliech.

At Stade Gerland, Montpellier goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren made a series of saves to earn his side a draw with Lyon.

“We’re disappointed by the result and I feel sorry for my players because they showed a lot of good will,” Lyon coach Remi Garde said.

Lyon trails fourth-place Saint-Etienne by six points.

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