Published: February 2, 2020 10:22:54 am
Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain enjoyed a comfortable afternoon against a very poor Montpellier, winning 5-0 and extending its lead in the French league on Saturday.
Montpellier, which surprisingly pipped PSG to the 2012 league title, looked unusually sluggish and apathetic at Parc des Princes and slumped to its biggest loss of the season.
After conceding an early goal, the visitor’s fate was sealed in the 18th minute when its goalkeeper received a straight red card for a handball outside the box. Montpellier finished with nine players following Joris Chotard’s dismissal three minutes from time following an awful foul as the teenage midfielder stomped on Presnel Kimpembe’s leg.
Pablo Sarabia scored once and delivered an assist as PSG moved 13 points away from second-placed Marseille, which travels to Bordeaux on Sunday.
Sarabia put the hosts in front in the eighth minute then set up the in-form Angel Di Maria before an own goal from Daniel Congre gave the hosts a 3-0 lead by halftime. PSG remained in control throughout the second half, with France striker Kylian Mbappe and Layvin Kurzawa completing the rout.
Following a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant on the giant screen, PSG broke the deadlock after Neymar, sporting a pink mohawk, upped the pace with a one-two with Angel Di Maria. The Brazilian tried to get past Montpellier’s defenders but lost his duel with Daniel Congre. Sarabia recovered the ball close to the box and curled it under the crossbar for his 10th goal this season.
Struggling to keep the ball and to get past the midfield line, Montpellier’s fortunes worsened when goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud was sent off after he tried to stop a run from Mbappe outside the area but touched the ball with his elbow. Matis Carvalho went on to stop a Neymar free kick in his league debut, and watched Neymar shoot wide.
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The hosts doubled their lead when Sarabia set up Di Maria following a quick one-two.
Just before halftime, Teji Savanier failed to properly clear a corner, sending it straight into Congre`s head, with the ball bouncing back into the visitors’ goal.
The only mystery in the second half was how many more PSG would score. Fulltime came to Montpellier as mercy.
Mbappe did not hide his disappointment when he was substituted in the 69th minute, arguing with coach Thomas Tuchel before taking a seat on the replacement bench.
Tuchel said there was only one boss on the pitch at PSG, reminding Mbappe he was not playing tennis but a collective game.
“These are not positive images,“ Tuchel said. “It opens the door to discussions on matters that can distract us. I’m not angry but I’m sad because this is not necessary. But it’s going to stay like this, I will always decide on the sporting choices. This is not tennis but football.“
Reduced to nine men after 32 minutes, Monaco cracked in the last half-hour during a 3-1 loss at Nimes and missed the chance to get closer to the European spots.
After Wissam Ben Yedder gave Monaco the lead, everything went wrong. Florian Miguel levelled just before Tiemoue Bakayoko and Gelson Martins were sent off, and Monaco conceded two second-half goals.
Other results: Strasbourg 1, Lille 2; Angers 1, Reims 4; Dijon 3, Brest 0; Amiens 0, Toulouse 0.
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