PARIS Paris St Germain stayed in the hunt for a fifth successive French league title after ruthless finishing gave them an impressive 5-1 win at old rivals Olympique Marseille on Sunday.
The result left PSG second in Ligue 1 with 59 points from 27 games, three behind leaders Monaco and ahead of third-place Nice on goal difference.
It also stretched their unbeaten record in all competitions to 15 matches and handed them a 12th win out of 14 against Marseille, with the other two games drawn.
The fervent atmosphere generated by home fans in Stade Velodrome only seemed to galvanise Paris St Germain, who outplayed Marseille in all departments and could have easily won by a bigger margin.
Brazilian centre back Marquinhos headed them into a sixth-minute lead after midfielder Marco Verratti floated a lovely free kick into the box and Thiago Silva steered the ball into his compatriot's path.
Striker Edinson Cavani continued his rich vein of form with a superbly dinked finish 10 minutes later, beating goalkeeper Yohann Pele after a delightful exchange between Verratti and Javier Pastore sent him clear.
Slack defending by Marseille allowed forward Lucas Moura to slot home the third from close range shortly after the break and substitute Julian Draxler piled more misery on Marseille on the hour.
The German midfielder rounded off a swift move after right back Thomas Meunier raced down his flank and delivered a perfect low cross into the five-yard box.
Defender Rod Fanni pulled one back with a fine finish before the hard-working Blaise Matuidi blasted in Paris St Germain's fifth with a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Many Marseiile fans left the ground well before the final whistle as PSG looked likely to score every time they came forward.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic, editing by Neil Robinson)