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Cavani breaks PSG scoring record in Montpellier rout

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Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar (L) celebrates with Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani after scoring a penalty kick during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Montpellier (MHSC) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 27, 2018. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Edinson Cavani broke Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s all-time goalscoring record for Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday, while Neymar scored twice in a 4-0 thrashing of Montpellier.

The Uruguay striker tapped in his 157th PSG goal in the 11th minute at the Parc des Princes to spark wild celebrations, having levelled the Swede’s previous mark 10 days ago.

Neymar, on his return to the starting XI after a thigh injury, slotted in a 40th-minute penalty, before following Angel Di Maria’s strike with his second goal to wrap up the win.

Unai Emery’s men are now 11 points clear at the Ligue 1 summit from second-placed Lyon, who visit Bordeaux on Sunday.

Cavani started up front alongside Neymar, with Kylian Mbappe still recovering from injury.

Having failed to score in consecutive games, the 30-year-old didn’t have to wait long to break the record.

Neymar freed Adrien Rabiot down the left-hand side and Cavani turned in the midfielder’s cutback from close range to score his 27th goal of the season.

He celebrated by throwing his shirt into the crowd, with the referee shaking his hand in acknowledgement of the achievement before booking the striker.

Cavani’s 157th goal came in his 229th match for the capital club since joining from Napoli for 64 million euros ($79.5 million) in 2013, after Ibrahimovic managed 156 in 180 games during his four seasons in Paris before leaving for Manchester United in 2016.

He almost grabbed number 158 just minutes later, but Portuguese defender Pedro Mendes managed to toe the ball away from the onrushing striker.

Neymar had been booed by the Paris crowd on his previous appearance when he scored four goals in an 8-0 thrashing of Dijon, but took a late spot-kick that could have given Cavani the record.

The controversy from 10 days ago was put to bed before half-time, though, as when the hosts won a penalty, Cavani handed the ball to Neymar for the Brazilian to confidently slot home PSG’s 2,000th goal at the Parc des Princes.

Montpellier, who had the best defence in the French top flight before this game, managed to slow the pace down after the interval and midfielder Junior Sambia drew an uncomfortable save from home goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

But PSG finished off the away side midway through the second period, as right-back Thomas Meunier raced clear before squaring for Argentinian Di Maria to pick out the bottom corner and score his seventh goal in 10 games.

Neymar thought he had completed a double, but his effort was ruled out for handball.

The 25-year-old did net his second goal shortly afterwards, though, and he had Cavani to thank as his strike partner dinked the ball past Montpellier keeper Benjamin Lecomte for Neymar to tap in from inside the six-yard box.

The Brazilian has now scored 26 goals since joining from Barcelona in the close season.

Lyon, who inflicted just a second league defeat of the season on PSG last weekend, can cut the gap back to eight points on Sunday, when Marseille also host Monaco in a crucial match in the battle for the top three and Champions League qualification.


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