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Paris Saint-Germain Steamrolling Through Ligue 1

(Anthony Bibard/FEP/Panoramic/Icon Sportswire)

Paris Saint-Germain is dominating French soccer just like the previous three seasons. PSG has opened up an 11-point gap after just 13 league games.

Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of Toulouse put the reigning champions on 35 points after 13 games. PSG is still undefeated, having won 11 games and drawn two so far this season. The Parisians also have a +25 goal differential (scoring 31 goals while only allowing six) and is currently enjoying a seven-game winning streak in the league. 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in the game against Toulouse, and the big Swede now has nine goals in eight league games. Despite having turned 34 in early October, Ibrahimovic is still a dominant player when he’s healthy. Although this might be his last season in the French capital, he wants to go out in style and win the league once more and make a push for the Champions League title. “Ibra” has won league titles in Holland, Italy, Spain and France, but he’s still looking for his first Champions League trophy.

In addition to Ibrahimovic, PSG have several offensive weapons like Edinson Cavani, who has seven goals, Angel Di Maria with four and Lucas with three. Di Maria has started off his career with the team in a very positive fashion since joining the club from Manchester United this summer. He cost PSG a pretty penny, reportedly £44 million, but he gives the team another dimension in the attacking play.

The dominance since Qatar Sports Investment came in and bought the club in late 2012 has been remarkable. PSG has won three straight Ligue 1 titles and are well on their way to win a fourth consecutive title this season. The Qataris have pumped in a lot of money in the club to make them a competitive side, but with Financial Fair Play in the works, they have been forced to operate more under a budget and can’t just throw money around anymore.

The biggest threat comes from Olympique Lyon, who could close the gap to 10 points with a win over AS Saint-Etienne on Sunday. But the odds are clearly in PSG’s favor as they only lost three games last season. They won the league last year on 83 points, eight points ahead of Lyon.

PSG will host Lyon at Parc De Princes on Dec. 12 on Matchday 18, a game that very well could cement PSG’s dominance in the Ligue 1 table.

The ultimate goal is to win the Champions League, but the club has been unable to get all the way to the final. Last season, they saw themselves getting knocked out in the quarterfinals against Barcelona who went on to win the tournament.

PSG has a lot of good pieces in the team, with Ibrahimovic still leading way as he’s one of the most dynamic strikers in the world behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. But there’s still a sense that they are a couple of world-class players away from being able to compete with teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Manager Laurent Blanc and his men are in the same group as Real Madrid in the Champions League this season, and they sit in second place with seven points after four games. With games remaining against Malmo FF and Shakhtar Donetsk, PSG should have no trouble advancing to the knockout stages once more.

If they are able to get a favorable draw in the first knockout round and then avoid one of the big three (Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich), they might just have a chance at making a deep run this season.

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