Cavani breaks PSG goals record in Montpellier win
Edinson Cavani scored a club record 157th goal for Paris Saint-Germain and Neymar Jr netted twice as the Ligue 1 Conforama leaders recorded a routine 4-0 win over Montpellier Hérault SC at the Parc des Princes.
This had the makings of a tricky afternoon for PSG. If anyone could end the capital club's perfect record at home this season, surely it could be Montpellier. Michel Der Zakarian's side had held Paris to a goalless draw in the reverse fixture back in September and came into this game with the best defensive record in the division.
The visitors were also unbeaten in seven games, but it took PSG - with Neymar back but Kylian Mbappé again missing - just 11 minutes to open the scoring. Neymar found Adrien Rabiot and his low ball across the penalty area was turned in by Cavani for his 21st league goal of the campaign (11').
Goal number 2,000 at home
Only a vital touch from Pedro Mendes prevented Cavani from having a tap-in shortly after (21'), but Montpellier did crucially concede again before the interval. Portuguese defender Mendes was penalised for handball as he blocked a Julian Draxler shot inside the area, and Neymar stepped up to score the resulting penalty for his 16th Ligue 1 Conforama goal (40'). That was PSG's 2,000th goal at the Parc des Princes, and they were not finished there.
With their first-choice full-backs Jérôme Roussillon and Rubén Águilar missing, Montpellier were a shadow of their usual selves, although they almost narrowed the deficit midway through the second half as a thunderous Junior Sambia strike was parried by Alphonse Aréola (66').
Soon after that, Paris got their third goal. Substitute Javier Pastore's superb pass released Thomas Meunier down the right and his low cross was turned in by Ángel Di María, to the delight of Argentine president Mauricio Macri, watching from the Parc des Princes stands (70').
Neymar then had an effort disallowed but the Brazilian did complete the scoring with eight minutes remaining. Montpellier had a corner, but Sambia carelessly lost the ball allowing Di María to break. He found Cavani, and the Uruguayan lifted the ball over the advancing Benjamin Lecomte to give Neymar an easy finish. It was his sixth goal in PSG's last two home league games, and Unai Emery's team are back on track after last week's loss at the hands of Olympique Lyonnais.
THE PLAYER: Edinson Cavani
The prolific Cavani had slowed up in recent weeks, but he equalled Zlatan Ibrahimovic's club record mark of goals in all competitions against Dijon FCO on January 17. And after drawing blanks in the team's last two games, his opener here saw him pull clear onto 157 in a PSG shirt, which he ripped from his torso as he went to celebrate with the fans at the Auteuil end of the ground on Saturday. Cavani's place in the PSG history books is well and truly secure now.
THE STAT: 28
Neymar has been directly involved in 28 league goals this season, scoring 17 and providing 11 assists. No player in any of Europe's big five leagues has been involved in more goals than the dazzling Brazilian.