PSG trounce Metz to lift Madrid woe
Paris Saint-Germain inched closer to regaining the Ligue 1 Conforama title with a first-half assault on FC Metz that led to a 5-0 win on Saturday and restored their 14-point lead at the top of the table.
Paris Saint-Germain 5-0 FC Metz
There was little sign of the expected UEFA Champions League hangover following their midweek exit to Real Madrid as the league leaders mercilessly set about their visitors, bottom of the table and looking increasingly doomed to the drop.
Unai Emery's men made the breakthrough just five minutes in. Both full-backs were involved: left-back Yuri Berchiche at the start of the move and — after Kylian Mbappé's shot had been parried by Eiji Kawashima — right-back Thomas Meunier followed up to find the net at the end of it.
That prompted a blitz before the interval that had the Parc des Princes bouncing, and in which Nkunku played the starring role. The PSG youth academy product has found his second season in the first team tougher, but he remains quite a prospect, as he showed.
He was fortunate to see a Matthieu Dossevi shot ricochet off Presnel Kimpembe and then off the crossbar after he had carelessly given the ball away (11'), but he soon made amends.
Berchiche and Marco Verratti teamed up down the left before the latter crossed for Nkunku to slot home the second (20'), and Julian Draxler and Angel Di Maria then provided the ammunition for the young midfielder to add the third inside half-an-hour (28').
He then missed a chance for a hat-trick (30'), and was denied one by the offside flag (45') before Mbappé raced behind the visiting defence to make it 4-0 before the break (45+1').
With the spadework done, PSG, who had seen AS Monaco close the gap at the top to 11 points with Friday's win in Strasbourg, might have slackened off, but there was no drop in tempo.
Kawashima brilliantly denied Nkunku's diving header (58') and then Mbappé (65) as PSG threatened to run up a rugby score. The Japanese goalkeeper also beat out an Adrien Rabiot shot from distance (76') before he was beaten again by Thiago Silva (82') as PSG lifted their own and their fans' spirits in emphatic style.
THE PLAYER: Christopher Nkunku
On his second start of the season, following on from last weekend's appearance at Troyes, the 20-year-old again showed his huge potential. His two goals mean he has three strikes in his last pair of Ligue 1 Conforama matches, and he has shown Emery he has an additional option in the centre of the park.
THE STAT: 15
PSG have recorded 15 clean sheets this season, including seven in nine top-flight matches in 2018.