The Gaza Post|The News of Palestine-Paris
Kylian Mbappe had a return to Monaco to forget, despite his Paris Saint-Germain team winning 2-1 Sunday in the principality to boost its title hopes.
Edinson Cavani scored in the 19th minute and Neymar added a second-half penalty before Monaco pulled one back 10 minutes from time.
PSG moved nine points clear at the top of the league after its win over the defending champion. Monaco slipped to third, below Lyon on goal difference after Bruno Genesio’s side won 5-0 at Nice.
“We are happy to have got the three points tonight and a more substantial gap above the teams chasing us,” PSG coach Unai Emery said. “The teams behind us are strong, but we have confidence in what we can do.
“If there is one thing to improve, it’s our finishing. But the team is doing well, it’s very satisfying to see that we are keeping up our level of play.”
Mbappe joined PSG from Monaco in the offseason in a deal worth 180 million euros ($216 million).
The 18-year-old forward missed several clear opportunities to score on his return to the Stade Louis II and was also at fault in Monaco’s goal, deflecting Joao Moutinho’s free kick into the back of the net.
Several other PSG players missed good chances as well, including Julian Draxler, who fired wide of an empty goal from close range early on.
PSG took the lead when Adrien Rabiot gathered a loose ball and picked out Draxler, who rolled across for Cavani to fire into the roof of the net.
It was Cavani’s 16th goal of the season and the Uruguay forward is now just four behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s PSG record of 156 goals overall.
PSG doubled its advantage seven minutes after the break when Monaco defender Almamy Toure fouled Neymar and the Brazil international converted the resulting penalty, sending Danijel Subasic the wrong way.
PSG should have put the match out of reach before Moutinho’s free kick set up a nervy finale for the capital side.
It was a third successive 5-0 win away from home for Lyon. It is undefeated in 12 games and has also beaten its club record by going 651 minutes without conceding a goal in all competitions.
Memphis Depay scored twice against Nice while Maxwel Cornet and Mariano also netted in an impressive first half for Lyon. Teenager Myziane Maolida added the fifth late on.
Lyon took the lead in the fifth minute when Cornet raced down the right flank before setting up Depay for the opener.
Cornet got on the score sheet himself in the 20th, dribbling past Nampalys Mendy and Marlon before beating Walter Benitez with a right-footed shot.
Mariano started and finished a counterattack in the 27th before Depay doubled his tally 11 minutes later.
Nice defender Marlon Santos was sent off 20 minutes from time following a second yellow card, and the 18-year-old Maolida completed the scoring 10 minutes later with his second goal in a week _ and the second of his career.
Lyon ended the match with six players aged 21 or under.
Marseille kept up the pressure on the top three with a 1-0 win over Guingamp.
Rudi Garcia’s side moved a point behind Monaco and Lyon.
Florian Thauvin scored an impressive individual goal after a half-hour, weaving his way past two Guingamp players before firing into the bottom left corner.
Marseille almost doubled its lead moments later but Guingamp goalkeeper Karl Johan Johnsson did well to keep out Konstantinos Mitroglou’s header.