Rennes 0 PSG 2: Ibrahimovic steals Beckham's thunder… but they're still smiles ahead in title race
20:20 GMT, 6 April 2013
22:53 GMT, 6 April 2013
Paris Saint-Germain won 2-0 at Rennes to maintain their march to the French league title and help eradicate memories of one of the lowest points of the season.
Jeremy Menez scored a stunning solo goal in the 56th minute as PSG re-established its seven-point lead in the standings.
Cool head: David Beckham lifts the ball over the on-rushing Benoit Costil
Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed the result in stoppage time as PSG recorded its first win at Rennes since 2002. PSG maintained its lead over Marseille, which beat Bordeaux 1-0 on Friday.
Rennes has won only one of its past 10 matches.
PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti rested more than half of his team ahead of Wednesday's return leg at Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Only four of the starting 11 which helped PSG to a 2-2 draw in the first leg were on the pitch at kickoff against Rennes. Back in November, Ancelotti admitted his team was in crisis after it lost 2-1 at home to Rennes, which played most of the second half with nine men.
PSG almost got off to a poor start but goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu did well to turn Sadio Diallo's shot round his left post.
Ibrahimovic came close to giving PSG
the lead in the 21st with a free kick from just outside the area which
flew past the left upright.
The striker should have done better three minutes from halftime when he
seemed certain to score after spinning to collect a through ball from
Menez and racing into the area. However, his left-footed effort lacked
power and was straight at Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil.
All smiles: Beckham shares a joke with Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the striker had opened the scoring
Head in hands: Beckham clearly can't believe the referee's decision
PSG finally scored 11 minutes after the break, as Clement Chantome found Menez, who beat almost the entire Rennes defense before firing past Costil.
PSG doubled its lead at the death. David Beckham appeared to be close to scoring his first Ligue 1 goal but Ibrahimovic made sure, heading in from practically on the goal line for his 26th league goal of the season.
PSG centre back Thiago Silv did not play in the match and is a doubt for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Barcelona due to a knee problem, said coach Carlo Ancelotti.
'Thiago Silva suffered a knock on his knee against Barcelona on Tuesday,' Ancelotti said. 'Will he be ready for Wednesday I don't know, we'll see.'
Ancelotti also said PSG's Italy midfielder Thiago Motta, who has been suffering with a thigh injury, would face a last-minute fitness test.
PSG will already be without suspended holding midfielder Blaise Matuidi for the return leg at the Nou Camp.