Kian Maleppé scored twice in Lien 1 this season to take his tally to 18 goals, as Paris Saint-Germain won 4–0 at the Bottom Club Design on Saturday and won the title race in the leaders Lille. Maintained pressure on. Moise Keane and Danilo Pereira also scored for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, which bounced back from a 2–0 home defeat by Monaco last weekend and came back in second place in the table, one point behind Lille. The leaders play at home in Strasbourg on Sunday, while two points behind Lyon Capital Club, but could leapfrog them again with a win in Marseille, also on Sunday. Fourth-placed Monaco are six points away from the top spot but can face their unbeaten 12 matches if they face Breast in the princely state.
“I’m very proud. We were very professional and it was important for us to get back on the path to victory,” Pochettino told Canary Plus.
The PSG, who move to Bordeaux in midweek, have now won seven and lost two of Pochettino’s first 10 league games.
“The team needs to be more consistent in the league,” Pochettino said. “Of course it’s a mental thing, but it’s also physical, it’s about performance.”
Former Monaco striker Mbappe was kept calm by his old club, but came back between goals against the bottom of the division, who have now lost their last seven games.
MBGP scored twice when PSG beat Dijon 4–0 at home in October and repeated here to advance to 23 for the season in all competitions.
The victory came in the continued absence of Neymar, the world’s most expensive player missing the fourth consecutive game with a groin injury.
He has returned to personal training but has missed the first leg, he remains skeptical for the Champions League Final-16 return match at home in Barcelona on 10 March.
Angel Di Maria, Marco Veretti, Mauro Icardi, Leandro Paredes and Alessandro Florenzi were also missing at Stade Gaston-Gerrard with long-time injury victim Juan Bernat.
“We have a big squad and we need to show that everyone can fight for their place,” Pochettino said.
– Keen rebuilt mark –
On-loan Everton striker Keane retained his spot and he opened the scoring within six minutes, taking a touch and poking home from close range after being set up by Abdo Diallo.
Keane, who was twice targeted in the previous meeting of the sides, has now scored 15 times for PSG, who may well be confident that his loan will be transferred to a permanent transfer at the end of the season.
Mbappe made it 2–0 in the 32nd minute, penalized for a Bersant Celina handball.
Julian Drexler had another goal, which was disallowed for offside, but Mbappe scored again six minutes into the second half, with Rafina throwing a first shot into the corner from the pass and completing a flowing move.
Danilo, on loan from Porto, wraps up the win late as he led Drexler into the corner for his first goal in French football, replaced by 17-year-old midfielder Edoard Mikut who was making his senior debut.
Dijon has eight points downstream and nine points outright protection.
Metz won 2–1 in Bordeaux in Saturday’s second game, thanks to a stop-time goal scored by international wagner Dias Gonclave of Cape Verde.
Metz is fifth, bringing qualification for the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League next season.
Elsewhere, Marseille on Friday announced the appointment of 60-year-old Argentine Jorge Sampaoli as their new coach on a deal for 2023.
He is the permanent successor of the sacked Andre Villa-Bose and arrives in Atlético Mineiro, Brazil a year later.
Sampaoli, who coached Argentina in the 2018 World Cup, will not be on the bench for Sunday’s game against Lyon.
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