Mbappe hits benchmark with brace as PSG beat Monaco


PARIS, France, Dec. 13Kylian Mbappe reached a century of Ligue 1 goals for Paris Saint-Germain with a brace in Sunday’s 2-0 win over former club Monaco at Parc des Princes.

Mbappe opened the scoring with an early penalty, then scored a second just before half-time after being set up by Lionel Messi to score his 100th top-flight goal since joining PSG in 2017.

The French striker, who also scored 16 league goals for Monaco early in his career, will not be 23 until later this month.

The victory allowed PSG to extend their lead in Ligue 1 to 13 points over Marseille, a 2-0 winner in Strasbourg earlier on Sunday and having one game less.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side eventually claimed victory in a subdued atmosphere at Parc des Princes, with one end of the stadium closed as punishment after club ultras massively set off flares in a recent game.

“It was a professional performance and we deserved to win. Kylian was once again extraordinary, ”Pochettino, who has been criticized for his team’s performance this season, told broadcaster Amazon Prime.

“We are very happy with our results, but we can improve our performance,” he admitted later.

Monaco had only lost twice in their 12 previous visits to Paris in Ligue 1 and were the best team in the first half, but Mbappe’s second goal just at half-time was a hammer blow they didn’t have not recovered.

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Niko Kovac’s side are eighth, five points behind the top three, with just another round of games to come before France’s short winter break.

Sofiane Diop hit the post for the principality’s outfit in under two minutes, but they quickly found themselves behind.

Angel Di Maria descended into the box and the referee spotted a foul by Djibril Sidibe after reviewing the footage. Mbappe stepped up to convert the penalty.

– Messi denied –

Lionel Messi still only has one goal in 10 Ligue 1 matches with PSG © AFP / Anne-Christine POUJOULAT

Guillermo Maripan then missed a great opportunity to draw at Monaco level before PSG scored their second goal.

Youssouf Fofana gave possession to Messi in midfield and he leapt forward before hitting Mbappe, who touched and shot into the far corner for his ninth Ligue 1 goal this season.

Messi came terribly close after the break with a shot through the goalkeeper that grazed the far post.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has five goals in five Champions League games for PSG but only one in 10 games in Ligue 1. This game confirmed that Mbappe is the main man of PSG, rather than the Argentinian .

Marseille climbed back to second place as their Strasbourg victory brought them over Rennes, who lost at home to Nice.

Young Senegalese striker Bamba Dieng gave Marseille in Alsace the advantage with an acrobatic volley just after the hour mark. Duje Caleta-Car took the lead in a Dimitri Payet turn late to seal the points.

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Kasper Dolberg scored one goal and scored another as Nice won 2-1 at Rennes in a clash between two clubs with Champions League ambitions.

Nice started the campaign strong before stumbling in recent weeks, but they went ahead in Brittany when Dolberg converted a 19th-minute penalty awarded for a foul on Dante.

Danish striker Dolberg then led Youcef Atal to score the second goal in the 51st minute.

Benjamin Bourigeaud withdrew one for Rennes but Nice held on to get closer to a point from Rennes in the standings.

Defending champions Lille, fresh out of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League, were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Lyon, a result that leaves both clubs in the middle of the table.

Last week, Lyon were stripped of a point as punishment for the issues that led to the November game being abandoned against Marseille after Payet was hit in the head by a bottle.

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