PSG ease past Dijon without banned Neymar
Kylian Mbappe scored twice and grabbed an assist as runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain coasted to a 4-0 win over Dijon on Saturday despite the absence of the suspended Neymar.
Pablo Sarabia struck the opener inside three minutes at the Parc des Princes, as PSG played without Neymar who was serving a one-match ban after his red card in last week’s win over Bordeaux.
Dijon, who beat PSG 2-1 at home in November, are hovering just above the relegation play-off place but held out for 70 minutes before PSG added a second through Mbappe.
The France international then set up Mauro Icardi for a third goal just moments after the Argentine came on as a replacement for Edinson Cavani.
Mbappe bagged his second and PSG’s fourth in stoppage time as Thomas Tuchel’s side preserved their 13-point lead over Marseille at the top of the table.
“It was a good match. We were able to score quickly which settled us down,” said PSG captain Marquinhos.
PSG travel to Lyon on Wednesday for a French Cup semi-final and play Strasbourg next weekend, with the return leg against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on March 11.
“The group absolutely wants to show against Dortmund that it’s capable of taking this step forward,” said Tuchel.
“They’re having a very consistent season with lots of wins and strong performances. We can’t lose confidence in this team. The players have shown this week they want to play that game, and they did again today.”
The hosts were already without Marco Verratti due to suspension and injured skipper Thiago Silva, and lost Angel Di Maria to a thigh problem early in the first half.
Tuchel said he was confident Di Maria would make a swift recovery, adding the decision to take him off was one of precaution.
By that point PSG were already leading through Sarabia’s ninth goal of 2020 — and PSG’s second quickest of the campaign — after he redirected a mishit shot from Marquinhos.
Dijon goalkeeper Alex Runarsson produced a number of saves to keep the visitors in touch, but he was eventually beaten again when Mbappe rounded the Iceland international following a slick ball through from Julian Draxler.
Mbappe turned provider when he helped the ball across for Icardi to apply a sharp finish on 74 minutes. He then increased his league-best goals tally to 18 in stoppage time after a scramble in the area.Marseille strengthened their grip on second place on Friday as Dario Benedetto scored a hat-trick in a 3-2 win at lowly Nimes.
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