Ibrahimovic steers PSG to five-goal triumph
Paris Saint-Germain's forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring during the French L1 football match against Sochaux at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on December 7, 2013
The big Swede took his league goals tally to 13 thanks to an all-round masterclass which helped PSG quickly recover from their midweek loss to Evian in what was their first defeat of the season.
That setback ended PSG's 36-match undefeated run and it was rock-bottom Sochaux who were cast in the role of fall guys on Saturday.
Ibrahimovic scored twice in the last five minutes after Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani, with his 11th of the season, had also hit the target.
PSG were on top from the start at the Parc des Princes where Sochaux had lost on their last five visits, conceding 16 goals.
Ibrahimovic had two early opportunities -- grazing the post in the eighth minute before smashing a free-kick into the wall, five minutes later.
Their pressure told after 14 minutes with the big Swede once again involved.
His pass to the far post allowed Silva to slot the ball right-footed past Pierrick Cros in the Sochaux goal.
Ibrahimovic then freed Thiago Motta who was thwarted by the busy Cros.
PSG continued to toy with the visitors with Marco Verratti, Cavani and Maxwell causing a string of problems.
Cavani came closest to adding a second goal just on the stroke of half-time when his 20-metre drive was kept out by Cros.
PSG were rewarded for their endeavour with a second goal in the opening minute of the second half.
Lavezzi scored from a Motta pass although there was a hint of offside when the Argentine striker collected the ball.
On the hour mark, Cavani made it 3-0 and again Ibrahimovic was involved.
The Swede crossed for Cavani at the far post who controlled the ball before quickly hitting the target.
Ibrahimovic deservedly grabbed the fourth in the 85th minute with a brutally-struck free-kick from 20 metres which fizzed past the despairing dive of Cros.
Cavani then teed-up Ibrahimovic in the 89th minute for the fifth.
Lille can close the gap on PSG to one point with a win at Bordeaux on Sunday while third-placed Monaco, who are five points off the lead, meet Ajaccio.
Earlier Saturday, flagging Marseille sacked manager Elie Baup, the dismissal coming at the end of a week when the south coast club suffered two successive Ligue 1 defeats.
The 1-0 loss to Nantes on Friday, which followed a similar reverse at Lille left Marseille in fifth and they now trail PSG by 13 points.
"Elie Baup has left after talks between the (club) president and the coach at the end of training on Saturday morning," said a Marseille spokesman.
The Velodrome club's sporting director Jose Anigo, a former manager at the club himself, will assume temporary control up to the French league's winter break.
"He will be in the dug out against (Borussia) dortmund on Wednesday night."
The 58-year-old Baup was appointed at the start of the 2011-2012 season, replacing current France manager Didier Deschamps and guiding Marseille into second place behind PSG last season.
In contrast to last term, this season has been marred by a run of poor performances in the league and the loss of all five matches in the Champions League.
Baup is the second manager to leave his Ligue 1 job in 48 hours, after Montpellier split with Jean Fernandez on Thursday -- the latter was replaced by veteran Rolland Courbis on Saturday.
Anigo's first match at the helm is against Borussia Dortmund in the sixth and final Champions League group game with only pride at stake on Wednesday.