Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Nantes: Mbappe and Neymar help champions win three in a row

By Sports Desk December 04, 2019

Kylian Mbappe scored a sublime goal and Neymar converted a penalty as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nantes 2-0 to extend their Ligue 1 winning streak to three matches.

Mbappe, restored to the starting line-up at Mauro Icardi's expense, opened the scoring after 52 minutes with a deft backheel and Neymar netted five minutes from the end on a night when both players could have increased their side's advantage.

But PSG's finishing was as inconsistent as their defending and it was only by virtue of a lack of quality in the Nantes attack that Thomas Tuchel's league-leading side emerged with all three points.

Yet with a five-point cushion now and a game in hand on second-placed Marseille, the champions proved yet again that they can win without playing anywhere near their best.

PSG's dominance of Ligue 1 is such that they rarely come out all guns blazing, and the only clear chance of the early exchanges saw Ludovic Blas fire wide for Nantes from just outside the box.

Blas drew a good save from Keylor Navas after 27 minutes, the PSG goalkeeper getting down smartly to turn a low drive around his near post.

Neymar, having spent much of the game protesting against Nantes challenges, steered the ball into the net four minutes from half-time only to see his effort ruled out for a challenge by Julian Draxler on Imran Louza during the build-up.

Neymar missed a one-on-one chance in first-half stoppage-time and the champions piled forward again straight after the interval, Mbappe having a thunderous shot saved moments before he let Angel Di Maria's cross run between his legs and cleverly diverted it past goalkeeper Alban Lafont.

Nantes continued to threaten on the counter-attack and Navas made a strong save from Louza before a moment of madness saw substitute Icardi win a penalty.

Nicolas Pallois' backwards header was bound for Icardi who was pushed from behind by Labont and Neymar buried the ensuing penalty at the second attempt to make sure of the victory.

What does it mean? Relief for Neymar

With Mbappe justifying his inclusion ahead of Icardi with a goal, there was an uneasiness about Neymar until he found the net from the penalty spot - his first goal since recovering from a hamstring injury.

Navas plays a key role

PSG had enough chances to win the game comfortably but also afforded Nantes more space than Tuchel would have liked, and he had Navas to thank for a number of timely saves to preserve his side's clean sheet.

Not Louza's night

Nantes midfielder Louza breathed a sigh of relief when VAR ruled out a Neymar goal for which he would have likely been blamed, but he later fluffed his lines when presented with a clear chance to equalise.

What's next?

PSG face a difficult trip to in-form Montpellier on Saturday, while Nantes entertain struggling Dijon on Sunday.

Related items

  • Areola returns to PSG from Madrid amid Premier League rumours Areola returns to PSG from Madrid amid Premier League rumours

    Alphonse Areola has returned to Paris Saint-Germain from Real Madrid amid reports he is set for a Premier League move.

    The goalkeeper joined Los Blancos on a season-long loan last September to provide cover for number one Thibaut Courtois, with Keylor Navas having moved in the opposite direction in a permanent deal.

    Areola made just nine appearances for LaLiga's champions, though, and the Frenchman has been tipped to move on again with game time unlikely at PSG.

    "Real Madrid confirmed they have brought Alphonse Areola's loan spell to an end," a team statement read.

    "The club would like to thank Areola for his dedication, professionalism and exemplary conduct this season and wishes him the best of luck in this new chapter.

    "Real Madrid also thanks PSG for the chance to have had Alphonse Areola as part of our squad."

    Reports in the English media said 27-year-old Areola has bought a house in London ahead of a potential move to the Premier League.

    Chelsea have been credited with an interest as the Blues appear keen to find a buyer for Kepa Arrizabalaga.

    Arsenal were also touted as a potential destination to provide extra cover after Emiliano Martinez deputised when Bernd Leno sustained a knee injury in June, although the Argentinian's brilliant performances mean such a scenario may be unlikely.

  • Melbourne City 2-2 Adelaide United: Noone red card sparks comeback Melbourne City 2-2 Adelaide United: Noone red card sparks comeback

    Melbourne City had Craig Noone sent off as they surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Adelaide United in the A-League.

    The former Cardiff City and Bolton Wanderers winger received a straight red card after wiping out Adelaide defender Michael Jakobsen near the touchline with a rash sliding challenge.

    That 67th-minute incident proved to be a turning point, with Adelaide soon pulling one goal back before Ben Halloran snatched a stoppage-time equaliser.

    Adrian Luna had nudged Melbourne in front after 34 minutes, nodding in a cross from Noone, and Jamie Maclaren headed in a second six minutes later.

    Kristian Opseth cut the deficit with a 78th-minute penalty after Pacifique Niyongabire was chopped down by Luna when entering the right side of the penalty area.

    Halloran then struck in the first added minute, firing low and powerfully beyond Tom Glover after cutting in from the left, to deny second-placed Melbourne the victory.

  • Celtic blast Bolingoli's 'stupidity' after quarantine breach Celtic blast Bolingoli's 'stupidity' after quarantine breach

    Celtic have blasted Boli Bolingoli's "stupidity" and apologised to the SPFL for his "irresponsible action" after the player breached quarantine restrictions. 

    Bolingoli travelled to Spain without the club's knowledge and did not follow quarantine rules when returning from the country. 

    He then featured in Celtic's 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock on Sunday, with his indiscretion coming after two Aberdeen players had tested positive for coronavirus. 

    Eight Aberdeen players issued an apology having broken guidelines by visiting a bar in the aftermath of their opening-weekend defeat to Rangers. 

    The Scottish government threatened to pause the Scottish Premiership season and Celtic did not hold back in their condemnation of Bolingoli, who the club said has tested negative for COVID-19. 

    "Celtic Football Club unreservedly condemns and apologises for the behaviour of the player Boli Bolingoli in travelling to Spain without informing the club and in failing to observe quarantine restrictions," a statement from the club read. 

    "It is difficult to imagine a more irresponsible action in current circumstances and we find it beyond explanation. The club will take immediate action through our own disciplinary procedures. 

    "Celtic are in touch with every SPFL club, and with all relevant authorities, to apologise for the fact that one of our employees has created so much additional difficulty through his actions. 

    "All of our playing and backroom staff have been tested twice for COVID-19 since this incident and all, including the player in question, have tested negative. While this comes as a relief to all concerned, it in no way diminishes the seriousness or stupidity of the player's actions. 

    "Since the COVID -19 crisis began, we have had a safe and healthy squad of players, recording not one positive test. As a club, we have worked tirelessly to ensure a sustained, safe environment for all.    

    "We have led the way in working with the football authorities and Scottish Government to establish the most rigorous, effective protocols and working practices, which ultimately led to the resumption of football. We could have done no more in this area. 

    "It is a matter of the deepest regret to us that the behaviour of one individual has jeopardised that reputation and reflected discredit on football more generally." 

    Bolingoli apologised for his error, saying: "I have made a huge mistake. I want to apologise to my manager, my team-mates, the supporters, everyone at Celtic and so many others for letting them down so badly. 

    "I am guilty of a major error of judgement. I know what I did was wrong and I know that I must now deal with the consequences." 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.