Paris: Goals from Jeremy Menez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ezequiel Lavezzi helped Paris Saint-Germain overcome a poor first half and beat Bastia 3-1 Friday to move provisionally six points clear of Lyon at the top of the French league.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti kept Ibrahimovic on the bench until the 65th minute and PSG struggled to play with fluency in the first half, even though striker Kevin Gameiro hit the post midway through.
"We were lacking in intensity and speed," Ancelotti said. "I told the players at halftime to play with more speed."
With Ibrahimovic warming up, Menez scored in the 56th with a shot which goalkeeper Mickael Landreau should have saved. Ibrahimovic then added a penalty in the 71st to notch his 21st league goal in as many games this season.
Wahbi Khazri pulled a goal back from a free kick in the 83rd before Lavezzi sealed the win in the 89th.
"The first half wasn't very good, we played too many long balls. The second half was different and we controlled the game quite well," Ancelotti said. "This gives us confidence for the next match" against Valencia in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Lyon needs to beat Lille at home on Sunday night to close the gap on PSG to three points, while Marseille must win at Evian to pull within six points of PSG.
"Nothing's decided yet, but it's good to have this lead," Ancelotti said.
Defender Sylvain Marchal almost scored an own goal when he cut out Lucas' cross and the ball rolled just wide, and former PSG goalie Landreau made a smart stop to keep out Gameiro's back-heeled volley.
But Landreau then made a mistake, failing to properly gather Menez's tame shot, and allowing it to squeeze under him.
Landreau was beaten again when Lucas was fouled by Julian Palmieri and PSG was awarded a penalty, although the infringement looked to be outside the penalty area.
It was not a night for goalies as Salvatore Sirigu was beaten by Khazri's free kick while he was still organizing his wall — the first goal the Italian 'keeper has conceded in 951 minutes since the 2-1 home loss to Rennes on Nov. 17.
Khazri almost equalized moments later as Bastia pushed forward, but Lavezzi sealed the win when he turned in Clement Chantome's cross in the 89th.