Paris Saint-Germain 5-0 Montpellier: Sarabia stars as leaders thump nine-man visitors

By Sports Desk February 01, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain extended their lead atop Ligue 1 to 13 points as they thumped nine-man Montpellier 5-0.

Montpellier were already behind when goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud was sent off in the 17th minute on Saturday to end their hopes of being competitive.

Pablo Sarabia had scored a fine eighth-minute opener, with PSG going on to net twice in the final five minutes of the first half through Angel Di Maria scoring and a comical Daniel Congre own goal.

Thomas Tuchel's men kept a fifth consecutive clean sheet as they went a 19th straight match without losing, with second-half strikes from Kylian Mbappe and Layvin Kurzawa adding gloss to the victory prior to a late sending off for Montpellier's Joris Chotard.

PSG thought they had scored a brilliant team opener only for Mbappe to be ruled offside before setting up Sarabia.

But Sarabia was not to be denied as he latched on to a loose ball in the hosts' next attack and curled a magnificent 25-yard finish over Bertaud.

Montpellier's hopes were all but over when Bertaud was sent off as he charged out of his box and was adjudged to have handled when saving an Mbappe effort. Montpellier protested furiously but there would be no VAR reprieve.

An angry Neymar was booked for dissent but he was smiling soon after when Di Maria smoothly chipped his finish over sub keeper Matis Carvalho after a neat one-two with Sarabia.

It was three in bizarre fashion just before the break as a Di Maria corner was sliced by Teji Savanier as he attempted to clear and it bounced in off the head of a helpless Congre.

Neymar had limped down the tunnel after a challenge from Arnaud Souquet just before the break, but there was relief for the home fans when he re-emerged for the second half and the Brazil star almost made it four only to be denied by Carvalho.

Mbappe's left-footed strike rebounded off the post but the World Cup winner did get his goal on 57 minutes when he rounded Carvalho and tapped in having been found by Neymar.

Seven minutes later it was Kurzawa, having remained in Paris after being linked with a January transfer, who swept in his first goal since striking against Montpellier a year ago.

Three minutes from time, Chotard got a second yellow card for a rash foul on Presnel Kimpembe to add salt to Montpellier's wounds, though there was some relief when PSG's Edinson Cavani was denied a headed sixth for a marginal offside.

 

What does it mean? PSG on easy street

It was clear Montpellier were going to be in for a long afternoon after Bertaud's early red card. They made PSG sweat in a thrilling reverse fixture in December but, despite a string of injuries in defence, a win for the champions was never in doubt here as their dominant domestic campaign continued.

Sarabia steps up for PSG

Sarabia had a goal disallowed, scored a wonderful opener and set up PSG's second goal, all in the first half, and continued to be influential from there. It was a huge relief that Neymar was not injured and, in Sarabia, PSG boss Tuchel has another key member of his supporting cast.

Bertaud ends Montpellier hopes

Bertaud was rash in rushing out of goal in an attempt to deal with Di Maria's lofted pass and paid for that misjudgement when Mbappe beat him to the ball, his red card ending the match as a contest.

What's next?

PSG are away to Nantes on Tuesday ahead of an attractive fixture at home to Lyon in eight days' time. Montpellier host Metz on Wednesday.

Related items

  • Neymar reveals he almost quit football Neymar reveals he almost quit football

    Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star Neymar revealed he considered retiring from football.

    Neymar is regarded as one of the best players in the world, but he is a maligned figure due to his theatrics on the pitch and lifestyle away from the game.

    The most expensive player in history after joining PSG from LaLiga giants Barcelona for €222million in 2017, Neymar admitted criticism has had an impact on him.

    "I will never lose the passion for football, but I have had moments that I did want to stop playing," the 28-year-old told Gaffer Magazine. "Once, I reached a point of asking myself why I should keep playing if they do not like it.

    "I used to go home hot-headed and then remembered everything I've done to get me here.

    "The love I have for football and all those things just calmed me down and brought me back to reality. Because, I'm very lucky. Truly. I have achieved a lot of things in my career that made me and my family incredibly happy.

    "Just debuting for Santos FC, winning the first title with Santos, winning the Libertadores Cup was super important as well. Joining Barcelona was a dream of mine since I was a kid, winning the Champions League, my arrival in Paris. These moments will always remain special to me."

    Neymar added: "I have never felt pressure. Quite the contrary, I am a person that can easily manage pressure; being the number 10 of Brazil's national team, the number 10 at PSG and just being Neymar.

    "I think I take it well but at the same time I know my commitment and I'm incredibly thankful to be representing teams such as PSG and Brazil. I know that when I play I have to do it differently, I have to give it 100 per cent because that's what everyone expects."

    Neymar has scored three goals in eight Ligue 1 appearances for PSG this season, while he has netted 10 times across all competitions.

    The Brazilian forward played the entire match as PSG moved top of the table with a 1-0 win at Angers on Saturday.

  • PSG's Jesus Perez praises 'instrumental' Mbappe despite latest blank in Ligue 1 win PSG's Jesus Perez praises 'instrumental' Mbappe despite latest blank in Ligue 1 win

    Jesus Perez defended Kylian Mbappe after the Paris Saint-Germain star fired another blank as the Ligue 1 champions overcame Angers 1-0 to move top of the table.

    Layvin Kurzawa's goal with 20 minutes remaining saw PSG edge Angers at Stade Raymond Kopa on Saturday, leapfrogging rivals Lyon in the process, though Rudi Garcia's side can return to the summit by topping Metz on Sunday.

    PSG are six games unbeaten in Ligue 1, while the titleholders have kept 12 clean sheets this season – more than any other team in the top-five European leagues.

    But Mbappe was a topic of discussion post-game after the reported Real Madrid target saw his scoreless run extend to four matches as he was withdrawn 10 minutes from time.

    PSG assistant Perez, deputising in the absence of head coach Mauricio Pochettino due to his positive coronavirus test, praised the France international forward – who has scored 12 goals in 16 Ligue 1 appearances this term and 14 across all competitions.

    "Kylian was instrumental in this victory," Perez told reporters. "He fulfilled his role. We changed his position during the match. 

    "He then better attacked the spaces. He's less successful at the moment, but he has his share in that success. He worked hard for the team."

    With Pochettino self-isolating, Perez took charge as PSG secured back-to-back league wins, having also claimed the Trophee des Champions during the week.

    PSG duo Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes exchanged 72 passes against Angers, the highest tally for a midfield pair in Ligue 1 this season.

    Asked about Pochettino and his absence, Perez said: "He had contact with the players by video before the game. We too had it before the match and then at half-time to exchange. 

    "We continued to discuss what we did this week. We also talked about training for the coming week. We will take advantage of this week's macrocycles to focus on specific points during the session. We prepared everything with Mauricio."

    "It was difficult but we took the three points," he added. "Angers are a very well-organised team which gave us some concerns. But we went for this victory."

  • Lampard thrilled with Mount: I wasn't blowing the world away in my first year or so Lampard thrilled with Mount: I wasn't blowing the world away in my first year or so

    Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has expressed his delight at Mason Mount's performance against Fulham and Callum Hudson-Odoi's recent form.

    Mount scored the winning goal in the Blues' narrow 1-0 victory at Fulham, who played more than half the match a man light following Antonee Robinson's sending off just before the break.

    That goal was just the tip of the iceberg for Mount, who laid on a remarkable seven key passes – only three times in the Premier League this season has a player produced more in a single game.

    Lampard was overjoyed with the England international's display and highlighted the midfielder's already considerable experience despite only just turning 22, before suggesting Mount is even playing at a higher level than he was at a similar stage of his career.

    "I thought Mason's performance all round was fantastic," Lampard told reporters. "He has been very, very good for us in the past year, this year. He is a big example of why I talk about youth.

    "Mason turned 22 years old last week, the age I came to Chelsea at. I wasn't blowing the world away in my first year or so, Mason already has so many games under his belt.

    "Across out frontline, we've got; Christian Pulisic – similar age bracket, Kai Havertz – similar age bracket, Callum Hudson-Odoi – younger age bracket, Tammy [Abraham], Timo [Werner] – they're all young.

    "But to go back to Mason, his effort, attitude and quality of play today was outstanding."

    Hudson-Odoi was bright after coming off the bench in the final 15 minutes, though he was seemingly unfortunate not to start.

    The winger endured a difficult 2020 due to fitness problems and a lack of form, but he is starting to show why he had been so highly rated in his teenage years.

    In the past month, only Mount and Pulisic have created more Premier League chances than his six among Chelsea players, despite Hudson-Odoi playing just 176 minutes.

    That means he is averaging 3.1 key passes per 90 minutes in that time – Mount (4.2) is the only other player with a tally of more than two, and Lampard has been impressed by the 20-year-old's attitude.

    "There has been a real uplift in his form," Lampard added. "That's a sign of his development, he is coming on, going by people and showing confidence. And a lot of that will be down to the injury he had to get over last season.

    "Hakim [Ziyech] obviously gives us something different and was outstanding when fit. Christian [Pulisic] is always a threat. When I have the three, there is one who maybe can't start the game, but they must then come on and impact the game. Generally, a winger is where you make your changes.

    "Yes, I had Leicester in mind [when selecting the team] and we will see how players react in the next day or two. In this busy, busy period players will have to accept to be an impact player sometimes and then come in and start.

    "For Callum, I am delighted with how he is playing at the minute and he is approaching it in the right way. He will get many, many minutes for us."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.