Kylian Mbappe rested as PSG ease past Lille to extend Ligue 1 lead

By Sports Desk February 10, 2024

Kylian Mbappe was kept in reserve as Paris St Germain went 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with 3-1 victory over Lille.

Defender Alexsandro had a night to forget at the Parc des Princes when, after Yusuf Yazici had given the visitors an early lead, he was robbed to allow Goncalo Ramos to level and then sliced the ball into his own net before Randal Kolo Muani cemented the win.

Mbappe was named only among the substitutes ahead of Wednesday night’s Champions League last 16 clash with Real Sociedad, as were Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Marquinhos and Warren Zaire-Emery.

And Mbappe was not needed as Luis Enrique’s side eased to victory, with fourth-placed Lille indebted to goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier for keeping the margin of defeat respectable.

Mbappe’s presence on the bench as he nursed ankle injury did not come as a huge surprise despite Enrique’s insistence in the run-up to the game that he would be involved, but 37-year-old Keylor Navas’ inclusion in place of Donnarumma, his first appearance for the club since May 2022, did prompt raised eyebrows.

Navas’ evening got off to a bad start as Tiago Santos tricked his way past Lucas Beraldo and after Fabian Ruiz failed to deal with his cross, Yazici smashed the ball past the PSG keeper in the sixth minute.

The lead last barely four minutes as Alexsandro was caught in possession and Ousmane Dembele squared for Ramos to equalise.

Alexsandro’s evening was to take a further turn for the worse with just 17 minutes played as the home side started to find their feet.

Ramos sent the ball across the face of goal and when the visitors failed to deal with it, Fabian unleashed a speculative shot and the defender sliced an attempted clearance into his own net.

Lille might have fallen further behind in first-half stoppage time but for Chevalier’s instinctive save with his foot after Marco Asensio had run on to Dembele’s pull-back.

Asensio was guilty of a poor 51st-minute miss after robbing Nabil Bentaleb on the edge of the penalty area, and Chevalier came to Alexsandro’s rescue with a block from Nordi Mukiele after he had forced his way past the defender.

Edon Zhegrova saw a 58th-minute attempt deflected wide at the other end after Gabriel Gudmundsson and Angel Gomes had combined to set him up, but it took another superb save from Chevalier to keep out Kolo Muani’s 73rd-minute strike.

The striker did get his name on the scoresheet with 10 minutes remaining when substitute Bradley Barcola broke down the left and crossed for him to cement victory.

And Alexsandro’s misery was complete when he headed wastefully over when presented with a late chance to reduce the deficit.

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