Idrissa Gueye and Julian Draxler were on target as Paris Saint-Germain strengthened their grip on first place in. Ligue 1 Uber Eats with a 2-0 win over Montpellier Hérault SC at the Parc des Princes.
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Montpellier Hérault SC
Lionel Messi was missing for the visit of Montpellier Hérault SC due to a knee injury, but with Kylian Mbappé, Neymar Jr. and Angel Di Maria in the starting line-up, PSG always looked likely to be on the front foot, and so it proved. Neymar tried to chip Jonas Omlin early on, but his effort didn't dip in time (4'). Moments later, Mbappé had a shot on the turn which was smashed straight into the Swiss shot-stopper's legs (5'). Given the embarrassment of attacking riches at the capital club's disposal, the opening goal was scored through a rather surprising source in Gueye. Di Maria laid the ball back to the midfielder and he sent his marker before thundering home a spectacular opener on his weaker left foot (14'). Perhaps taking inspiration from his fellow supposed defensive midfielder, Ander Herrera then let rip first-time on his left foot, but his effort cannoned back off the crossbar (42'). Neymar forced another save from Omlin on the stroke of half-time (45'+1) and the teams went in for the break with Paris leading 1-0.
The second half got off to a rather gentle start before exploding into action around the hour. Mbappé hit a venomous shot towards the Lorient goal which took a deflection on the way in, and Omlin did extremely well to correct himself and turn the danger around the post for a corner (58'). Stephy Mavididi then had a similar chance at the other end, this time with no deflection, and Keylor Navas pulled off an equally impressive save (61'). Paris looked favourites to pull further clear when their front three broke through, but Neymar ran straight into Omlin before the flag went up for offside anyway (65'). Mbappé got around the Montpellier No.1 moments later, but he fired wide of the unguarded goal (66'). Neymar was the next to spurn a big chance, his finish not doing some exquisite control which preceded it justice (71'). Julian Draxler finally added gloss to the scoreline late on, moments after replacing Di Maria (89') and it ended 2-0.
THE PLAYER: Idrissa Gueye
This was a superlative performance from the Senegalese central midfielder. He and Herrera have been given greater license to get forward in Mauricio Pochettino's 4-3-3 formation this term, and the faith the coach has shown in their attacking ability has proved to be well-founded. Herrera has four goals in all competitions, and Gueye now has three.
THE STAT: +15
But for a penalty shoot-out win over Montpellier in the semi-final of the Coupe de France in May, PSG have cruised past La Paillade since their last defeat to them in April 2019, winning their last five league meetings to the tune of 17 goals scored and just two conceded.