Edinson Cavani moved one goal behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s all-time scoring record for Paris Saint-Germain as the French league leader beat Caen 3-1 on Wednesday.
Cavani put PSG ahead in the 21st minute with an exquisite finish for his 155th PSG goal in 224 games since joining from Napoli in the summer of 2013 for 64 million euros ($76 million). Teenage star Kylian Mbappe celebrated his 19th birthday with a goal and an assist while left back Yuri Berchiche grabbed his first since joining the club this summer.
The win keeps PSG nine points ahead of second-place Monaco heading into the annual winter break. Defending champion Monaco beat Rennes 2-1 with goals from striker Radamel Falcao — his 15th in the league so far — and summer signing Keita Balde. Ligue 1 resumes on Jan. 12.
Ibrahimovic scored 156 in 180 games in his four seasons with PSG. He left after the 2015-16 season, after which Cavani came into his own.
Last season, Cavani scored 49 goals in all competitions, topping the league scoring charts with 35. Both were career bests.
At Parc des Princes, Cavani made a run to the front post and met Mbappe’s cross from the right with a brilliant flick with the inside of his right foot as he jumped up to meet the ball.
After Mbappe turned in a cross from midfielder Giovani Lo Celso in the 57th — his eighth league goal of the season — Berchiche netted with an angled drive from close range in the 81st.
Striker Ivan Santini pulled a goal back with a last-minute penalty.
LYON KEEPS GOING
Third-place Lyon remains level with Monaco on points and trails narrowly on goal difference after winning 2-1 at struggling Toulouse.
Forward Nabil Fekir put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute — his 14th of the season — and former Manchester United right back Rafael made it 2-0 in the third minute of injury time.
Winger Max-Alain Gradel’s penalty in the sixth minute of stoppage time came too late for Toulouse — which is hovering above the relegation zone in 17th place.
MARSEILLE BOUNCES BACK
Fourth-place Marseille recovered from last Sunday’s defeat against Lyon by beating Troyes 3-1 at home.
After midfielder Bryan Pele put the visitors ahead in the 14th minute, attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet equalized for Marseille in the 31st with just his second league goal of the season.
Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo made a fine run and slotted an angled shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-1 in the 66th. Forward Valere Germain sealed the win late on.
Marseille remains three points behind Lyon and Monaco, and five ahead of fifth-place Nantes.
Nantes coach Claudio Ranieri seems to have found a reliable striker in Emiliano Sala.
For the second straight game he scored the winner — two minutes into injury time as Nantes won 1-0 at Amiens.
Nantes is six points clear of sixth-place Nice, which was without top scorer Mario Balotelli in a 1-1 draw at Lille.
Seventh-place Montpellier’s defence held firm again in a 2-0 win away to Bordeaux.
Bordeaux coach Jocelyn Gourvennec will have a tense winter break worrying over his future, with his side in 15th place.
Saint-Etienne is 16th after losing 2-1 away to Guingamp.
Striker Karl Toko Ekambi netted twice as 19th-place Angers beat Dijon 2-1; and last-place Metz won 3-0 at home to Strasbourg.