Paris back on track with Amiens victory
Kylian Mbappé was among the scorers as Paris Saint-Germain made the difference in the second half to beat Amiens SC 3-0 at the Stade de la Licorne on Saturday.
Amiens SC 0 - 3 Paris Saint-Germain
Paris were looking to get back on track after their remarkable 44-game winning run in the domestic cup competitions came to an end in midweek with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of EA Guingamp in the Coupe de la Ligue quarter-finals.
Thomas Tuchel sent out a formidable side in Picardy, but Neymar Jr. was rested completely after being described by his coach as "very tired". And the visitors dominated the first half, only to find Régis Gurtner in fine form in the home goal.
Alphonse Aréola was called into action at the other end in stoppage time at the end of the first half as he saved from Eddy Gnahoré, but Amiens managed just one attempt on target in the opening period, and the relegation-threatened side found the going tougher as the game went on.
Paris got the breakthrough before the hour mark, winning a penalty Alexis Blin slid in to block an Ángel di María shot with his arm in the box. With Neymar absent, penalty duties went to Edinson Cavani, and the Uruguayan stepped up to beat Gurtner from the spot for his 11th Ligue 1 Conforama goal of the campaign (57').
Amiens reduced to 10 men
Any hopes the hosts had of rescuing something from the game were dealt an enormous blow when Khaled Adenon was sent off for a second yellow card for a foul on Mbappé in the 66th minute, and Paris went on to double their lead soon after. Julian Draxler released Cavani, and he centred from the right for Mbappé to finish first-time for his 18th goal in all competitions this season (70').
Draxler was again involved as the capital club wrapped up the victory with 11 minutes left, the German getting a fortunate ricochet off an Amiens defender in the area as he broke to the edge of the six-yard box and laid the ball back for Marquinhos to score.
The result means Tuchel's side remain unbeaten in the league this season and are once again 13 points clear of second-placed LOSC with two games in hand, after Lille won 3-1 at SM Caen on Friday. Without a win in three league outings, Amiens are just two points above the bottom three with the sides below them yet to play this weekend.
THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
After a below-par display against Guingamp in midweek, Mbappé was back among the goals here. The France superstar now has 14 league goals this season, a figure bettered in Europe's five leading leagues only by Lionel Messi with 16. Mbappé is now just one goal short of his tally for AS Monaco in their title-winning 2016-17 season.
THE STAT: 18
Paris are the only team to have scored in all their league games this season, netting 53 times in total in their 18 matches. They now jet off to Qatar for some warm-weather training this week before hosting Guingamp next weekend.