Paris St Germain pull four points clear in Ligue 1 after victory over Monaco

By Sports Desk November 24, 2023

Paris St Germain moved four points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after a display of ruthless finishing secured an entertaining 5-2 win over Monaco at the Parc des Princes.

Kylian Mbappe, who netted his 14th goal of the season from the penalty spot, was one of five different goalscorers for the home side, who have now won six games in a row in the league.

Monaco began the game just three points behind PSG and contributed fully to an end-to-end contest, but the visitors ultimately had no answer to the firepower at Luis Enrique’s disposal.

Goncalo Ramos had the first effort on target after six minutes with a curling shot from just outside the area which was straight at goalkeeper Philipp Kohn, while at the other end Takumi Minamino’s shot was deflected into the side netting.

Mbappe then brought an excellent save out of Kohn as he tried to steer a low shot into the corner from 12 yards, before Soungoutou Magassa’s free header from a corner was tipped over by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The visitors thought they had opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Folarin Balogun’s shot was spilled by Donnarumma, who at least made amends by reacting quickly to block the follow-up effort from Vanderson.

Vanderson made no mistake at the second attempt, rounding Donnarumma before rolling the ball into the empty net, only for the flag to go up due to Balogun being offside when he received the ball from Aleksandr Golovin.

An entertaining game soon got the goal it deserved when Ousmane Dembele’s shot was spilled by Kohn to leave Ramos with a simple tap-in.

But just four minutes later another goalkeeping error allowed Monaco to equalise, Donnarumma coming under pressure from Balogun and hitting his attempted clearance straight to Minamino, who fired home left-footed.

Kohn again saved well from Mbappe before the home side reclaimed the lead in the 38th minute, Magassa bringing down Dembele in the area and Mbappe giving Kohn no chance from the penalty spot.

Minamino brought good saves from Donnarumma immediately before and after the interval but it was PSG who scored next – and twice in quick succession – to seemingly put the result beyond doubt.

Dembele raced on to a quickly-taken free-kick from Fabian Ruiz, cleverly flicked the ball forward with his left foot and then smashed a shot into the far corner with his right from a narrow angle.

Less than two minutes later it was 4-1 as Vitinha took Mbappe’s pass and curled a delightful shot from the edge of the area in off the post, but Monaco refused to throw in the towel and Balogun slotted home from Minamino’s pass for a third goal in the space of five minutes.

Monaco continued to push forward and Denis Zakaria was guilty of a poor miss when presented with a clear header from Golovin’s corner, but Randal Kolo Muani completed the scoring for PSG in injury time after Monaco failed to clear a corner.

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    Prior to a ball being kicked at this year's tournament, the Opta supercomputer gave Belgium a 4.7 per cent chance of winning their first major trophy, with seven nations seen as more likely champions.

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    MATCH PREDICTION – FRANCE WIN

    France enter Euro 2024 as one of the favourites, with the Opta supercomputer giving them a 19.1 per cent chance of lifting the trophy before the tournament began. They are expected to live up to that billing here.

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