Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Clermont: Mbappe on target in emphatic win without Messi & Neymar

By Sports Desk September 11, 2021

Paris Saint-Germain maintained their 100 per cent record in Ligue 1 this season as Kylian Mbappe and Ander Herrera propelled Mauricio Pochettino's team to a 4-0 victory over Clermont.

Without Lionel Messi and Neymar, who along with Leandro Paredes and Angel Di Maria were given extra rest following their international exploits in midweek, PSG still made light work of sealing a fifth straight win.

Passed fit to feature after sustaining a calf injury while on France duty, Mbappe – the subject of three failed bids from Real Madrid at the end of August – scored his fourth goal of the season on a typically blistering counter-attack 10 minutes into the second half.

Herrera's first-half double had put PSG into a comfortable position, with promoted Clermont failing to test debutant Gianluigi Donnarumma despite plenty of attacking intent as Idrissa Gueye wrapped up an emphatic win.

Mbappe created PSG's first chance after 11 minutes, though Marquinhos was unable to direct the forward's free-kick either side of Arthur Desmas.

Clermont's resolve was punctured in the 20th minute, though – Herrera on hand to head home after Desmas had parried Achraf Hakimi's cross-shot.

Danilo Pereira would have made it 2-0 four minutes later if not for Akim Zedadka's block, yet PSG would not be denied for long.

Herrera was once again in the right place at the right time to pounce on a loose ball, this time lashing a finish into the roof of the net, while a goal-line block prevented Julian Draxler netting a third before half-time.

There was to be no such reprieve for Clermont early in the second half – Mbappe rounding the goalkeeper to finish coolly after racing onto Draxler's lofted pass.

Mbappe should have doubled his tally, or teed up Rafinha, just after the hour, only for the youngster to chip wide when one-on-one with Desmas.

He atoned moments later, a rebound from his shot falling to Gueye, who nodded in at the back post to cap off a slick display.

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    After an impressive 4-0 win against the Czech Republic put Portugal in pole position in Nations League Group A2, they were beaten by La Roja and missed out on a place in the Finals.

    Ronaldo failed to score in a third consecutive game at international level, seeing two attempts saved by Unai Simon, and appeared extremely disappointed and frustrated at full-time.

    But Fernandes came to his colleague's defence, saying: "There is no need to make great stories. Cristiano is here, he is here to help, and he will continue to help.

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    "We were all very frustrated – there is no need to make a soap opera around Cristiano."

    Ronaldo has just one goal and one assist for club and country this season, but Fernandes added: "He has done what he has to do; the goals will appear.

    "This is a phase. When the goals start to appear, he will have more capacity and tranquillity to continue scoring many goals for our national team. We cannot forget that he is the best scorer ever."

    After two disappointing international tournaments, not progressing past the last 16 at either the 2018 World Cup or Euro 2020, Qatar provides an opportunity for Portugal to set things right. 

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  • Scaloni excited by prospect of continuing Argentina role through to 2026 World Cup Scaloni excited by prospect of continuing Argentina role through to 2026 World Cup

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    Chiqui Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, stated an agreement had been reached between both parties for Scaloni to remain in his post for the next four years.

    A new deal would be a fine reward for Scaloni, who replaced Jorge Sampaoli after the 2018 World Cup, where Argentina were beaten by eventual champions France in the last 16.

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    Spain had five shots on target to Portugal's four, but all of those came after the 71st minute, with Santos' side paying for their earlier profligacy.

    "If I would like to simplify, I would say that we had several opportunities and Spain only had a few," the coach said. "So it would be a matter of efficiency: we didn't score.

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    Portugal were not helped by Cristiano Ronaldo's failure to contribute in attack.

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    "I am only interested in the team's performance," Santos said. "Ronaldo had three or four chances, two of them very good.

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