Kurzawa hat-trick steers PSG into last 16

UEFA Champions League
31/10/2017

Layvin Kurzawa scored a second-half hat-trick in Paris Saint-Germain's 5-0 romp against RSC Anderlecht on Tuesday that secured their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

UEFA Champions League, Group B

Matchday 4

Paris Saint-Germain  5 - 0  RSC Anderlecht 

THE MATCH

Paris coach Unai Emery was able to welcome Neymar Jr back into his side after a domestic suspension while Kylian Mbappé kept his place despite suggestions Ángel Di María could be preferred to the teenage starlet at the Parc des Princes.

PSG had won 4-0 away to the Belgian champions in the reverse fixture a fortnight earlier and a repeat looked as if it could be on the cards from the moment Neymar forced the first save of the evening out of Frank Boeckx in the away goal with barely 40 seconds played.

Verratti opener

PSG had plenty of chances before the opener arrived on the half-hour mark, Mbappé setting up Marco Verratti for a rare goal, a delightful curled finish into the far corner from the left side of the penalty area.

It was not quite the signal for the floodgates to open, as it looked like Anderlecht would hold on at 1-0 until the interval after Dani Alves saw his strike on the half-volley from outside the area almost touch the post on its way past.

Neymar on target

But Uroš Spajić, the former Toulouse FC defender, hurt himself in colliding with a teammate in the lead-up to that chance, and had to be stretchered off. And Anderlecht's defence was still readjusting when they conceded again, Neymar playing a corner short to Julian Draxler and collecting the return pass before smashing a wonderful strike past Boeckx from outside the area (45+4').

The second half was all Kurzawa's, with the France left-back getting his first of the night when he converted the rebound after a Neymar free-kick had come back off the left-hand post (52').

Kurzawa then headed in unmarked at the back post after Alves drove the ball across the face of goal (72') and completed his hat-trick in the 78th minute with a low left-foot strike into the far corner after an Alves pass had been helped into his path by both Edinson Cavani and Di María, who had come off the bench.

PSG have maximum points from four Group B games, with 17 goals scored and none conceded, and Bayern Munich's 2-1 win away to Celtic in Scotland confirmed that Emery's men are through to the last 16 already, with two group matches still to play.

THE PLAYER: Layvin Kurzawa

Kurzawa loves to attack so it should not come as a surprise to see him get his name on the scoresheet. But to score a hat-trick in the space of 26 second-half minutes is quite remarkable for a player who had never previously found the net in a Champions League game. He is only the second PSG player to score a Champions League hat-trick after Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and is the first defender to do so in the competition in its modern guise.

THE STAT: 17

Paris are the first team ever to score 17 goals in their first four Champions League group games. Their results in the competition so far this season make for impressive reading: 5-0, 3-0, 4-0, 5-0.

>> UEFA Champions League fixtures/results








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