p Neymar-less leaders back to winning ways | 2019-01-14

Neymar-less leaders back to winning ways

Afp, Paris

13th January, 2019 11:27:20 printer

Neymar-less leaders back to winning ways

Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring a goal against Amiens during their French L1 match at Licorne Stadium on Saturday. PSG won 3-0. — AFP Photo

Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe scored as Paris Saint-Germain responded to their shock midweek League Cup defeat by claiming a 3-0 win at Amiens on Saturday to move 13 points clear at the Ligue 1 summit.

PSG had seen their bid for a sixth straight League Cup title ended in midweek by struggling Guingamp at the Parc des Princes, but were too strong for a dogged Amiens.

The reigning French champions remain unbeaten after 18 games of the league season, and sit 13 points ahead of second-placed Lille, with two games in hand.

“Our challenge is to do things by being much focused. It’s hard to play, even today, with the mentality to start again.” said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.

Tuchel left Neymar out of the squad for the trip to the Stade de la Licorne to rest a sore knee, and his side struggled to create any chances of note in a drab first half.

“He had pain in his knee and couldn’t feel free in his movements .He’s been with us since January 4,” said Tuchel.

“He’s played two games. It was too risky (to play), it’s more important that he’s not hurt” PSG coach added.

PSG were gifted an opportunity to take the lead in the 57th minute when Angel Di Maria’s powerful shot struck the arm of a sliding Alexis Blin from barely a yard away, with the capital club awarded a penalty.

Cavani stepped up to slot the ball into the middle of the net and score his 14th goal of the season in all competitions.

An uphill battle became a mountainous one for the home team when Mbappe was hauled down by Khaled Adenon, and after the World Cup winner gestured to the referee to send off the Amiens wing-back, the official obliged by showing the 33-year-old a second yellow card.

It did not take long for Mbappe to take full advantage of Adenon’s dismissal himself, as Cavani found space on the right and crossed low for the forward to tap in his 18th goal this term.

Amiens’ hopes of getting something from the game had long vanished when PSG centre-back Marquinhos ventured forward to divert home Julian Draxler’s cutback to make it three with 11 minutes to play.