Kylian Mbappé scored a quick-fire brace as Paris Saint-Germain took another step towards the Ligue 1 Uber Eats title with a 2-1 win over AJ Auxerre at the Stade de l'Abbé-Deschamps.
AJ Auxerre 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain
PSG knew that they would have to wait a week to secure the title after RC Lens beat FC Lorient 3-1 earlier on Sunday, but they got off to a blistering start nonetheless, with
Mbappé completing a brace with less than 10 minutes on the clock. He steered his first into Ionut Radu's top corner after twisting and turning in the box (6'), and added a second with a first-time finish from Lionel Messi's cutback (8'). He nearly had an inadvertent hat-trick soon after when his pass, intended for Hugo Ekitiké, hit Rayan Raveloson and span narrowly wide (11'). Gauthier Hein then had a pair of chances at the other end, but he spun one over the bar left-footed (17') before firing a right-footed attempt straight at Gigio Donnarumma (27'). Messi then had a low shot saved by Radu (31') before Raveloson thumped an effort off Donnarumma's crossbar (38'). PSG should have made it three before the half was out, but Ekitiké mis-hit Mbappé's low cross (42') and it was 2-0 at the break.
Auxerre started the second half brightly and reduced the arrears when Lassine Sinayoko latched onto Nuno Da Costa's head on from a Radu clearance and drilled the ball low beyond Donnarumma (51'). Mbappé had another chance at the other end soon after, his shot hitting Raveloson's head and going out for a corner (58'), but Auxerre continued to probe and Da Costa was only a Marquinhos intervention away from making it 2-2 (70'). Messi then tried to get his name on the scoresheet with a volley from Juan Bernat's cross, but his effort hit Isaak Touré (74'). Moments later, Hein span clear in the PSG box and let fly, but Donnarumma pulled off a smart save to deny the Auxerre livewire (76'). With Ligue 1 survival still to to play for, Auxerre gave as good as they got before Paris came away with their 2-1 win - which might have been 3-1 had Mbappé not hat a late strike ruled out for offside (90'+3).
THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
Mbappé pulled onto 28 goals for the campaign with his brace, lifting him two clear of nearest challenger Alexandre Lacazette in the race for this season's top scorer award. The new France captain has also added five assists this season, giving him a goal-involvement of one every 80 minutes he has played.
THE STAT: 2:14
Mbappé's goals were scored two minutes and 14 seconds apart - making it his second-quickest double ever after December's FIFA World Cup final, which France lost to Messi's Argentina on penalties after a 3-3 draw in Qatar.