Paris, Thursday @PeopleSports11
Kylian Mbappe grabbed both goals as runaway leaders Paris Saint-Germain defeated Angers 2-1 in Ligue 1 on Wednesday despite losing veteran midfielder Thiago Motta to an early red card.
The 19-year-old France international struck either side of Motta’s 16th-minute dismissal for a crude stamp on Angers defender Romain Thomas at the Parc des Princes. Mbappe confidently swept in a first-time finish on 12 minutes after a brilliant ball in behind the defence by Julian Draxler.
The teenager netted his second on 26 minutes after Layvin Kurzawa pulled the ball back from the byline, with Mbappe lifting his league goals tally to 13 for the season.
With his team just four points above the relegation zone, Angers coach Stephane Moulin had made no secret of prioritising Saturday’s home game against Caen over the trip to the capital.
That approach was underpinned by the decision to leave top scorer Karl Toko Ekambi on the bench in Paris, although the Cameroonian bagged his 15th goal of the campaign after coming on with half an hour to play.
Mbappe nearly completed his hat-trick with seven minutes remaining but his effort smacked back off the post, while PSG goalkeeper Kevin Trapp denied Toko Ekambi an equaliser right at the end.
A 16th successive home league win leaves Unai Emery’s side 17 points clear of second-placed Monaco, who face PSG in the League Cup final at the Stade de France on March 31.
“We want the title and we’re continuing along on our path towards it. The championship is important because it reflects consistency over the course of the season,” said Emery. “I think the team reacted well to the sending off of Motta.
We suffered in the final few minutes but we deserved to win. I’m very happy with the way the team responded today.” Meanwhile, Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, took an online kicking Wednesday for tweeting a picture of himself grinning in a wheelchair and wearing a bathing suit to pay homage to Stephen Hawking.
A brilliant British astrophysicist, Hawking died earlier Wednesday after spending most of his life confined to a wheelchair by motor neurone disease. He was 76.
Neymar, who faces just a few weeks in a wheelchair after breaking his right foot while playing for Paris Saint-Germain, posted his picture along with an inspirational quote from the science icon. -AFP