Mbappé, Paris up and running
Edinson Cavani, Kylian Mbappé and Ángel Di María all scored as Paris Saint-Germain kicked off their defence of the Ligue 1 Conforama title with a 3-0 win over Nîmes Olympique on Sunday evening.
Paris Saint-Germain 3 - 0 Nîmes Olympique
The future of Neymar Jr. has dominated the headlines over the summer in Paris but without him Thomas Tuchel's side had already beaten Stade Rennais FC last weekend to lift the Trophée des Champions and they had no problems in getting the better of the Crocodiles here at the Parc des Princes.
Nevertheless, the visitors made a fight of it in the first half and might have held out much longer had they not been undone by a penalty midway through the first half. New recruit Pablo Martinez handled the ball in the box at a Pablo Sarabia, and referee Clément Turpin pointed to the spot after being alerted to the incident by the Video Assistant Referee. Cavani stepped up to smash home from 12 yards (24').
Paris had other chances in the opening half, though, with Mbappé setting up Pablo Sarabia for a shot that was well saved by Paul Bernardoni, denying the Spaniard a goal on his Ligue 1 bow. Mbappé also teed up Cavani for a glorious chance three minutes before the interva, with the Uruguayan somehow missing the target inside the six-yard area.
Renaud Ripart fired over at the other end just prior to that, but Nîmes created little else, and the hosts ran away with the match after the restart.
They increased their advantage in the 56th minute when Juan Bernat expertly brought down a high ball before cutting it back for Mbappé to fire home first-time. The World Cup winner then turned provider to set up Di Mariá, who applied a clinical finish to wrap up the points midway through the second half.
THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
Neymar's absence did not matter here as Mbappé again came to the fore, last season's top Ligue 1 Conforama marksman opening his account for this campaign and setting up another goal as Paris eased to victory.
THE STAT: 21
Kylian Mbappé has now scored 21 league goals in 2019, as many as a certain Lionel Messi. Nobody has scored more.