Kylian Mbappe and Neymar scored late goals to give Paris Saint-Germain a 2-1 win over nearest challengers Lille on Friday as the French champions extended to 12 games their perfect start to the season at the end of a troubled day for the club.
However Mbappe restored smiles at the Parc des Princes with a magnificent strike from just outside the box 20 minutes from time, and Neymar gave PSG a two-goal buffer before Nicolas Pepe pulled one back for the away side from the penalty spot.PSG extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 11 points after a 12th straight league win that means they have now beaten Tottenham Hotspur’s old record for consecutive wins at the start of a season.
The result is a boost for PSG ahead of their crucial Champions League trip to Italy to face Napoli next Tuesday, when a defeat could leave Thomas Tuchel’s side on the brink of an early exit.
Mbappe was back in the PSG starting line-up after being left on the bench against Marseille last weekend for arriving late for the pre-game team talk, only to come on and score the opener in a 2-0 win.
Marco Verratti also started, despite PSG confirming earlier on Friday that the Italian had been caught drink driving overnight Tuesday to Wednesday on the ring road around the French capital. PSG needed to put the off-field noise behind them but also try to break down a Lille side enjoying their best start to a season in 66 years.
Christophe Galtier’s side have been excellent in this campaign, but their lively attack did not give Gianluigi Buffon much to worry about on his return to the PSG line-up. With Edinson Cavani not involved as he struggles to shake off a thigh injury, Mbappe and Neymar were the biggest threats to Lille throughout, after arriving at the stadium disguised as characters from the Netflix show Money Heist.
Neymar almost scored direct from a corner five minutes before half-time, with Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan doing well to get his body in the way of the ball and divert it onto the woodwork.Mbappe had a shot deflected just wide as PSG stepped up the pressure after the break, and it was the 19-year-old who broke the deadlock in the 70th minute, beating Maignan after Neymar’s pass was kindly deflected into his path by Jose Fonte.