LA VILLA, Italy -- Marcel Hirscher was more pleased at finally beating his French rivals than with the fact that he had matched Alberto Tomba with a record fourth giant slalom win in Alta Badia on Sunday.The overall World Cup leader from Austria increased his first-leg lead and finished 0.71 seconds ahead of Mathieu Faivre of France on the steep and dark Gran Risa course. Florian Eisath of Italy was third, 1.10 behind.Hirscher had finished second behind Frenchmen -- Alexis Pinturault twice and Faivre once -- in each of the previous three giant slalom races. Thomas Fanara and Victor Muffat-Jeandet, two more French skiers, have also been highly competitive.Im super happy to get my first GS win of the season, Hirscher said. The French team is the benchmark at moment. All four guys showed in France how strong they are.Pinturault, who won on home snow in Val dIsere last weekend, fell early in his second run, spun around and crashed into the safety netting at high speed. He was charging hard after placing seventh in the opening run.Pinturault was slow getting up but skied down under his own power. He said later that he was not injured but had only sore legs.Olympic champion Ted Ligety slid off course shortly into his first run. The American, a two-time winner on the Gran Risa, has been unable to train properly lately due to severe back pain.I just have stabbing pain all the way down my leg, nerve pain, so I havent been able to ski much, Ligety said. Ive been getting injections and trying to get it sorted out but it hasnt really turned the corner yet.Italian great Tomba captured his wins on the Gran Risa course in 1987, `90, `91 and `94.Hirscher has now won this race four straight years. He also took a slalom in Badia in 2011.Im not thinking about breaking records, Hirscher said. I dont know how long I will ski.Attempting to become the first skier to win six consecutive overall titles, Hirscher increased his lead in the standings to 218 points ahead of Kjetil Jansrud, who didnt qualify for a second run.The most challenging section of the Gran Risa course is usually the steep and dark upper area but many skiers had trouble with an artificial jump on the flatter bottom part this year.Hirscher was slightly out of control going over the jump in his first run but he was perfect in his second trip down.Artificial, built-in jumps are a rarity in giant slalom.Its good to have some parts of a ski race where spectators are screaming and shouting and nervous watching in TV, Hirscher said. I was also watching in the start when one of the guys jumped far away into the flat and it was fun to see.Eisath had just taken the lead and the crowd was going wild when Faivre began his second run.I was listening to music but fortunately I took my headphones out early enough to hear the crowd cheering for Eisath, so I knew I had to really attack to take the lead and I did, Faivre said. But then Hirscher was really perfect in the second run and on a higher level today.It was the first podium result for Eisath in his 100th World Cup race.Its been a really long journey with lots of ups and downs and lots of fighting, said Eisath, who is from the nearby Val dEga and had his entire family and fan club in attendance.Zan Kranjec of Slovenia finished fourth to match his best career result from the season opener in Soelden, Austria.The top American finishers were Tommy Ford in 13th and Ryan Cochran-Siegle in 20th with the No. 50 bib.In the opening run, Philipp Schoerghofer was faster than his teammate Hirscher before he lost control and skied through one of the final gates. Erik Read of Canada also crashed into the safety netting.A parallel giant slalom is scheduled for Monday night on the Gran Risa.---Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampfCheap Custom Angels Jersey .com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward James Neal on injured reserve Tuesday. 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LOUIS -- The New Orleans Saints looked like a team playing out the string.SAINT-DENIS, France -- Paul Pogba is finding his scoring touch, heading in a valuable equalizer in Frances 2-1 win against Sweden in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.The Manchester United midfielder -- the worlds most expensive player -- headed in off the crossbar in the 58th minute, three minutes after Emil Forsberg had punished a sloppy period of French play with a swerving free kick that wrong-footed goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.France winger Dimitri Payet, who set up Pogbas goal with one of his pinpoint free kicks from the left, slotted home the winner in the 65th, after a handling error from goalkeeper Robin Olsen under pressure from forward Antoine Griezmann.France coach Didier Deschamps conceded that Griezmann was fractionally offside when he went to challenge for the ball.But some decisions went against us, too, and there was a foul on (Laurent) Koscielny not given before Swedens goal, Deschamps said.Payet rescued France at this summers European Championship, scoring a last-minute winner in the opening group game as Les Bleus went on to reach the final.Both Payet and Pogba netted the eighth international goal of their careers, but Pogbas strike came just as Sweden threatened a victory that would have thrown Group A wide open. Instead, France leads with 10 points, three more than second-placed Sweden and six more than the Netherlands. The Dutch play in Luxembourg on Sunday.Its not decisive yet, but its an important result for us, Deschamps said. We could have done better, but thats also down to Sweden making things difficult for us. They were athletic and good on set pieces.After an inconsistent start to the season, following his record-breaking transfer of 105 million euros ($116 million) from Italian champion Juventus, Pogba is getting closer to his best form.Last weekend, he scored with a superb 20-meter (yard) volley for United against Swansea in the Premier League.In Frances previous qualifiier, he struck the winner in a 1-0 win against the Netherlands with a rasping 30-meter strike.ddddddddddddBetween those games, he netted twice for United in a 4-1 win against Fenerbahce in the Europa League, one of the goals a fine curler from outside the area.I know he likes to score, and thats good for him, but its not specifically what I expect from him. Im happier with his overall performance, which was in line with what he did against Holland, Deschamps said. He plays differently for United in a different system. He won a lot of possession for us and when hes playing at that level, in tandem with Blaise Matuidi in midfield, hes very important.But France needed his goal on a bitterly cold night because strikers Olivier Giroud -- starting in attack ahead of Kevin Gameiro -- and Griezmann squandered chances.The first chance of the game fell to the Swedes early on when France center half Raphael Varane had to hack away a dangerous cross.Payet then had an effort saved by Olsen, but the rest of Frances shooting was from long range and wayward.This left France left vulnerable to a sucker punch and it almost came when burly striker Ola Toivonens goal-bound effort was expertly blocked by Koscielny as he slid on the ground.Were proud of our performance, said Sweden coach Janne Andersson, who was unhappy that Griezmann was not given offside in the build-up to Frances winner. We deserved much better, but we need to create more scoring chances.Giroud headed over early in the second half and Pogbas shot from just outside the area was blocked.Sweden made the French pay, but it spurred Pogba into action.Andersson, however, was not impressed.I dont have an opinion, he said, when asked if Pogba was getting back to his best. I dont watch what other teams do. I watch my own players. ' ' '