- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

PARIS (AP) - Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat trick as Paris Saint-Germain thrashed Saint-Etienne 4-1 to reach the French Cup final on Wednesday.

Ibrahimovic took his PSG career tally to 102 goals since joining three years ago, and Argentina winger Ezequiel Lavezzi added the other goal as the capital side advanced to meet Auxerre in the final.

PSG took the lead in the 21st minute from the penalty spot after right back Francois Clerc brought down Lavezzi and Ibrahimovic sent goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier the wrong way.

Saint-Etienne winger Romain Hamouma equalized four minutes later, heading in fellow winger Yohan Mollo’s left-wing cross.

But Saint-Etienne missed the chance to take the lead shortly after when former PSG striker Mevlut Erding shot straight at goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez - with Hamouma left unmarked and screaming for the ball.

PSG regained the lead in the 60th minute when Lavezzi headed in Javier Pastore’s superb cross from the right.

Ibrahimovic’s second goal, which came In the 81st, was the Swedish striker at his best. He ran onto a pass down the left side of the penalty area, fooled Ruffier with a body swerve, then ran around him to collect the ball and smacked it into the net.

After hitting the post, he completed his second PSG hat-trick in three games - and second hat trick of the season against Saint-Etienne - with a clinical low shot that crept inside the right post past Ruffier’s despairing dive.

Ibrahimovic has now scored 10 goals in his last six games for club and country, including eight in four for PSG.

It could be the last Ibrahimovic treat for a while. On Thursday he faces a different opponent: the French league’s disciplinary commission. He faces up to a four-game ban for an expletive-laced rant at officials following a defeat to Bordeaux last month.

“It’s tough but we were vulnerable and we missed too many easy chances,” Saint-Etienne captain Loic Perrin said. “It’s not normal to lose 4-1. We know they’re a good team but we should do better than that.”

League leader PSG, which is one point ahead of Lyon in the title race, remains on course for a unique quadruple, and plays Bastia in the League Cup on Sunday before facing Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions league quarterfinals four days later.



Click to Read More

Click to Hide