SAN FRANCISCO, October 17, (THEWILL) – In a Ligue 1 game with a depleted squad of players, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe scored twice as they cruised to a 4-0 victory away at 10-man Nimes to go top of the log.
The list of absentees from the PSG team sheet was long. Apart from the Brazilian Neymar, those missing at Stade des Costieres on Friday included the Frenchman Layvin Kurzawa, the German Thilo Kehrer, the Spaniard Juan Bernat, the Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria and his countryman striker Mauro Icardi. If they were missed, it did not reflect on the scoreline as PSG eased to a fifth consecutive victory.
Although PSG did not need one, the Frenchman Loick Landre handed them a helping hand when he got a straight red card against his former club for catching the impressive debutant Rafinha with a high boot just 12 minutes in.
Mbappe was first on the scorers list in the first half and increased his tally this season with his fourth goal in as many Ligue 1 games late on after Italian full back Alessandro Florenzi nodded in the second, with winger Pablo Sarabia rounding out the scoring in the closing stages.
Florenzi was unlucky not to have scored having twice struck the woodwork. The same with Italian forward Moise Kean who ought to have marked his debut with at least one goal but could only strike the crossbar in a game that the heroics of Nimes French keeper Baptiste Reynet was the only reason Nimes did not suffer an even worse hammering.
Leandro Paredes was forced off in the 11th minute after he was caught by a Lucas Deaux bruising on his shin. Deaux was perhaps fortunate to escape with only a booking for what some others have been sent off for. Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera took Paredes’ place for an early appearance off the bench.
It was thereafter that Nimes went a man down as Landre was dismissed by referee Clement Turpin for rashly catching Rafinha.
With 31 minutes on the clock, Reynet produced a magnificent save to palm Herrera’s downward header wide, but there was nothing he could do a minute later when Mbappe rounded him superbly before slotting home after he was picked out by Rafinha.
Reynet could hardly catch a breather all game. He was on hand to tip Kean’s tame effort around the post when the striker should have scored and saved headers from Idrissa Gueye and Mbappe before the break.
Nimes were left chasing shadows for much of the match and Florenzi volleyed against the post before nodding against the woodwork after Rafinha was replaced following an impressive bow. Nimes could have fared much worse if these goal attempts were converted.
Florenzi, made better use of the last chance he got as he was on hand to head in a second PSG goal from close range 13 minutes from time. Mbappe clinically added a third before Sarabia, who assisted in Mbappe’s goal, drilled home to complete an emphatic victory.
THEWILL sees how this win places PSG at the top of the table after seven games. They are tied on points with second-placed Rennes and are only top because of their superior goal-difference.