PSG thrash Montpellier to open three-point lead in Ligue 1
By Victor Okoye [NAN]
Paris St Germain (PSG) scored three goals in a four-minute blitz in the second half to demolish 10-man Montpellier 4-0 on Friday to go three points clear at the top of the French Ligue 1.
Kylian Mbappe bagged a double for his first goals of the year with Neymar and Mauro Icardi also finding the back of the net after Montpellier keeper Jonas Omlin was sent off early in the opening half.
The win puts PSG, who welcomed coach Mauricio Pochettino back on the bench after he was forced to spend a week in isolation following a positive COVID-19 test, on 45 points from 21 games.
Montpellier are 11th on 28 points.
At the Parc des Princes, Omlin was sent off after only 19 minutes for bringing down Mbappe just outside the box.
PSG capitalized on their numerical advantage 11 minutes before the interval as Mbappe chipped the ball past Dimitry Bertaud after being set up by Angel Di Maria.
Neymar doubled the tally on the hour with a crossed shot from Mbappe’s pass. A minute later, Icardi made it 3-0 from point-blank range from Alessandro Florenzi’s cross.
Icardi then slipped the ball to Mbappe at the end of a counter attack for the French forward to add to Montpellier’s woes.
“I feel better. I can be there tonight while keeping my distances,” Pochettino told Telefoot.
“It’s always difficult to be away from the team. I’m happy to be here again. The most important thing is to spend this moment in the best possible way and to recover. Now it’s done.”
In his absence, assistant coach Jesus Perez had taken the Argentine’s place last weekend when PSG beat Angers 1-0.
Second-placed Lille will move level on points with PSG if they beat Stade Rennais away on Sunday. (Reuters/NAN)
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