Cavani and Neymar help PSG maul Monaco
Edinson Cavani scored a hat-trick and Neymar Jr also got on the scoresheet as Paris Saint-Germain made it 13 wins from 13 Ligue 1 Conforama games this season with a 4-0 triumph at Monaco on Sunday.
AS Monaco 0-4 Paris Saint-Germain
Last season's runners-up Monaco came into the game without a win under new coach Thierry Henry, they were only off the bottom of the table on goal difference, and with confidence at an all-time low.
Not that PSG were in merciful mood. Under Unai Emery last season, they had inflicted a 7-1 defeat on the principality club, and within five minutes were on their way to another convincing win.
The Monaco defence failed to clear properly and Neymar Jr picked the ball up on the left — his left-foot shot was miscued, but fell kindly for Cavani who fired home (5'). Monaco's appeals for offside were shot down by VAR.
Radamel Falcao had an opportunity to size up the PSG goal shortly afterwards, but Thilo Kehrer's well-timed block prevented the Monaco captain getting his shot away (10'), unlike Cavani, who quickly doubled his and his team's tally.
Neymar's ball freed Moussa Diaby behind the hosts' back four, and the young forward drew Diego Benaglio before squaring for Cavani, who slid the ball into the empty net with VAR once again declaring him 'onside'.
Nacer Chadli's injury-enforced departure (21') did not help matters with Monaco already facing a seventh successive home game without a win. Still, the Belgium international's replacement, Jordi Mboula, should have given them hope, but somehow failed to hit the target after Sofiane Diop had helped on Djibril Sidibé's cross (26').
Benaglio blocked a Kylian Mbappé shot (36'), and then pushed away a Christopher Nkunku effort (39') and a Diaby curler (40') in quick succession as PSG continued to press for more goals.
It looked like it had eventually come just before the break. Nkunku played a one-two with Julian Draxler, who capped his recent good form with a smart finish, but VAR — this time — went Monaco's way as the Germany international had been offside when moving onto his teammate's return ball.
Monaco's luck didn't last for long though. Mboula pulled a muscle early in the second half that meant he too had to limp off (49'), and Cavani soon compounded their misery by completing his hat-trick, finishing off a Diaby cross (54').
When Sidibé pulled down Mbappé inside the box, Neymar stepped up to sweep in the penalty to make it four (64'). It was the Brazilian's tenth of the season and 29th in just 31 Ligue 1 Conforama appearances.
Monaco were now engaged in damage control, though they had the offside flag to thank for their former prodigy Mbappé not adding a fifth (78') as Thomas Tuchel's men maintained their 100% record with ease.
THE PLAYER: Edinson Cavani
The Uruguay international will face the FIFA World Cup winners in Paris in their upcoming friendly, and could not have prepared better to take on his adopted home nation.
THE STAT: 124
Cavani now has 124 league goals in 173 appearances in France.