Kylian Mbappe was on target twice as PSG beat Nantes 3-0 on Saturday night to leapfrog Marseille and go top of Ligue 1.
Nuno Mendes was also on target for the visitors in the second half, as Nantes found themselves down to ten men after 24 minutes.
PSG controlled the early exchanges but Nantes held firm as PSG picked at the defence with little joy. Nantes had the first chances in front of goal, but watched two efforts sail over the bar.
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Samuel Moutoussamy’s strike from outside of the box missed by inches, before Fabio stabbed a close-range effort over minutes later.
That would be Fabio's last involvement, as he was sent packing midway through the first half after he dived into a challenge on Vitinha with his studs up and leg off the floor.
After lengthy treatment from the physio, the PSG midfielder was quickly hauled off after feeling the impact on his knee.
Less than ten minutes into the second half, Mbappe doubled PSG’s lead with a simple close-range finish from the edge of the six-yard box.
The goal was originally disallowed for offside, but VAR replays showed the Frenchman was onside. PSG stretched their lead to three when Mendes pounced on a loose ball that had crashed off the post, courtesy of a poor Neymar effort from a few yards out.
The victory for PSG means they are now six games undefeated in Ligue 1, with five wins and a draw.
TALKING POINT - NO NEYMAR NO PROBLEM
Neymar was dropped to the bench for Pablo Sarabia, who put himself about in the first half and seemed to impress coach Christophe Galtier.
The change was most likely made with one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Juventus, but PSG had no problems getting the job done tonight without him.
Neymar came off the bench on the hour mark to enjoy a run out and looked sharp, despite missing a sitter which led to PSG’s third goal.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH - KYLIAN MBAPPE (PSG)
This one has to go to Kylian Mbappe tonight.
He was blistering going forward, and took his first goal extremely well as he powerfully lifted the ball over Alban Lafont’s head to finish off a devastating PSG counter-attack.
He all but finished the job shortly before he was substituted for Neymar, tapping in a Messi cross to double the visitors lead and send PSG top of Ligue 1.
NANTES: Lafont 6, Appiah 6, Castelletto 6, Girotto 5, Pallois 7, Fabio 2, Moutoussamy 6, Chirivella 5, Guessand 5, Blas 7, Mohamed 6.
Subs: Corchia 5, Coco N/A, Doucet N/A, Achi N/A, Ganago 5.
PSG: Donnarumma 6, Hakimi 6, Kimpembe 7, Marquinhos 7, Juan Bernat 7, Verratti 7, Danilo 6, Vitinha 5, Mbappe 9, Sarabia 8, Messi 7
Subs: Ramos 4, Nuno Mendes 8, Sanches 6, Neymar 6, Ekitike 5
18’ GOAL! NANTES 0-1 PSG (MBAPPE) - A devastating counter attack results in a PSG opener! Sarabia wins the ball in the middle of the park and quickly offloads it to Verratti who plays it into the path of Messi. The Argentine drives forward before playing it wide to an overlapping Mbappe, who curls an inch-perfect effort into the top corner.
10’ NANTES COME CLOSE! Mohamed does well to put pressure on Marquinhos, and wins the ball before laying it back for Moutoussamy, whose effort is inches over the bar.
24’ RED CARD - Fabio dives into a challenge with Vitinha with his studs up and leg off the floor, connecting with the midfielder's knee. It wasn't the dirtiest of challenges, but it was dangerous, and he has to go.
54’ - GOAL! NANTES 0-2 PSG (MBAPPE) - PSG double their lead! Messi finds Mbappe on the edge of the six-yard box, and it's an easy finish for Mbappe.
68’ - GOAL! NANTES 0-3 PSG (MENDES) - There's the third, Nantes getting picked apart now. Neymar's initial effort crashes off the post before Mendes pounces on the follow-up to extend PSG's lead!
- Lionel Messi has more assists than any other player in Europe's top five leagues this year.
- Messi is the second fastest player to reach 20 Ligue 1 assists (32 matches) since 2006/07, after Angel Di Maria.
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