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PSG aim to continue winning ways

Paris, France (SportsNetwork.com) - Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain will aim to continue its fine form in league play on Saturday when the defending champions host Reims at the Parc des Princes.

PSG have been rolling along in league play, winning seven straight heading into Saturday's tilt. The club enters the clash with a comfortable 13-point lead over second-place Monaco.

The club returns to domestic play riding a wave of confidence after handling Chelsea, 3-1, in the opening leg of the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday at the Parc des Princes.

The hosts grabbed the upper hand quickly as Ezequiel Lavezzi took the ball down off his chest expertly in the penalty area before volleying it into the roof of the net past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

A rash challenge in the penalty area in the 27th minute by Thiago Silva resulted in a penalty kick for the Blues which was converted easily by Eden Hazard to level the score.

PSG went back in front just past the hour mark when a corner kick was inadvertently knocked home by Chelsea defender David Luiz.

The hosts then delivered the hammer blow in stoppage time when substitute Javier Pastore used some nimble footwork to weave around several Chelsea defenders and slid the ball inside the near post for a crucial 3-1 lead heading back to Stamford Bridge for the second leg.

But the news wasn't all positive for PSG on Wednesday as star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled up with a hamstring injury in the second half. The Swedish international will miss a minimum of four weeks, which will keep him out of the second leg of the quarterfinal and possibly the semifinal should Les Parisiens advance.

"The important thing is that we scored that crucial third goal," PSG head coach Laurent Blanc said. "We produced a really excellent second half and created a lot of chances. Importantly, we didn't give Chelsea any room to operate in. We made a few mistakes after opening the scoring. Chelsea caused us some big problems in the first half, but we imposed our own football in the second. We always know the return leg at Stamford Bridge was going to be difficult, no matter what the result here tonight in Paris."

"It's an excellent result to win 3-1 against Chelsea in a really good match of football. I am very happy to have scored that third goal, because it will be an important goal in the return leg," Pastore said. "Chelsea are a great team with great players so we will have to stay focused there, because it is still a Champions League quarterfinal."

Also on Saturday in Ligue 1, Bastia hosts relegation-battling Sochaux at the Stade Armand-Cesari, while Bordeaux welcomes Rennes to the Stade Chaban- Delmas. Guingamp hosts Montpellier at the Stade du Roudourou. Lorient hosts Evian, while Toulouse battles Lille.

On Sunday, St Etienne hosts Nice, Valenciennes tangles with Lyon and Monaco welcomes Nantes to the Stade Louis II.

Friday's action saw Andre Ayew score a hat trick in a 3-1 victory for Marseille over Ajaccio at the Stade Velodrome.