Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani scored hat-tricks and Neymar Jr netted twice as Paris Saint-Germain avenged their shock Coupe de la Ligue loss to En Avant Guingamp with a commanding 9-0 win in Saturday's Ligue 1 Conforama meeting.
Paris Saint-Germain 9-0 EA Guingamp
Guingamp had raised questions about how well equipped PSG are to face a second half to the season where they are expected to push their UEFA Champions League challenge as well as defend their league title by bringing the capital club's five-year Coupe de la Ligue domination earlier this month.
They may not regret the feat, but Jocelyn Gourvennec's men will also remember that fundamental law of physics: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Though in PSG's case, the response was utterly devastating as the league leaders showed there was actually the entire span of the French top-flight table between themselves and the bottom side. And so much more.
Clearly, the four-day winter break in Qatar that Thomas Tuchel's men only returned from on Thursday had not so much as recharged but rather super-charged the reigning champions' batteries as they tore into their opponents with gusto, and were never sated.
Neymar had already fizzed a free-kick just over (4') and sent an inviting cross Cavani's way (7') before he timed his run as well as Dani Alves played a laser-guided angled ball over the visiting rearguard. One touch to control, one to fool the defender, and a third to flick insolently past Marc-Aurèle Caillard (11') and PSG were up and sprinting.
Pedro Rebocho saved Guingamp from quickly conceding a second when he blocked an Mbappé cross that Cavani was destined to sweep in (16'), and when an apparent ankle injury forced Marco Verratti off (18'), PSG — who had gone in front through Neymar Jr against the Bretons in the cup tie — might have feared an unpalatable bout of deja vu.
MCN on fire
Given the cascade of chances they were creating, they just needed patience, and Mbappé — after a pinball one-two with Neymar — picked out the corner for the second (38'). The FIFA World Cup winner didn't need the gift Félix Eboa Eboa — a former PSG youth academy player — presented him to make it three, but he was not going to pass it up (45').
Three-up at the break, and with their famed front men firing so excitingly, the next 45 minutes were even more enjoyable for the Parc des Princes crowd.
Cavani clipped home his first after Neymar had found Juan Bernat overlapping down the left (60'), and - after Thiago Silva had sent a header from an Angel Di Maria corner just over the crossbar (62') - PSG's all-time leading scorer then headed home when the ball popped up in the six-yard area (67').
Neymar, who looked in particularly sprightly form despite a hefty collision with Lucas Deaux in the first half, slipped in number six after the visitors had recklessly gifted PSG possession (69').
Cavani's hat-trick came when he finished a low ball from substitute Layvin Kurzawa (76'); Mbappé emulated him in similar circumstances just after (81') with another substitute, Thomas Meunier, capping a tenth win in as many home matches this season (83').
THE PLAYER: Neymar Jr
The Brazilian scored a magnificent first goal that symbolised the sort of mood he was in for the whole 90 minutes. Deft touches, work rate, assists and goals - he now has 13 league strikes this season, Cavani 14 and Mbappé 17 - his display had it all, even after having to shake off the knock he took from Deaux early on.
THE STAT: 3
PSG have lost just three of their last 117 Ligue 1 Conforama games at home.