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Brilliant Mbappe volley enough for PSG to go 12 points clear in France

The 20-year-old fired home his league-leading 19th goal of the campaign tonight.

PSG forward Kylian Mbappe reacts during the Ligue 1 match with Saint-Etienne.
PSG forward Kylian Mbappe reacts during the Ligue 1 match with Saint-Etienne.

KYLIAN MBAPPE’S EXCELLENT volley secured Paris Saint-Germain a hardfought 1-0 win at Saint-Etienne on Sunday as the runaway Ligue 1 leaders moved 12 points clear at the summit.

The 20-year-old Mbappe fired home his league-leading 19th goal of the campaign with 17 minutes remaining.

With a second straight French title all but secured, Thomas Tuchel’s men, who also have two games in hand on second-placed Lille, now have their eyes on breaking their own record tally of 96 points set in 2015-16.

Tuchel rested midfielder Marco Verratti after his excursions in the midweek Champions League victory at Manchester United, with Leandro Paredes handed his first league start for the club.

PSG fashioned their first clear-cut chance in the 18th minute, as Julian Draxler turned and fired over the crossbar after a fine exchange of passes with Dani Alves.

Mbappe saw a shot well saved by home goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier in an underwhelming first half.

The visitors always appeared in control of the game, but Draxler wasted another golden chance to put them ahead shortly after the restart when he was denied by a sprawling Ruffier stop.

Angel Di Maria, who starred with two assists on his return to Old Trafford in midweek, dragged an effort wide as PSG continued to plug away in search of an opening goal.

It arrived in the 73rd minute, as Alves picked out the run of Mbappe, and the Frenchman caught out Ruffier with a fine first-time volley on the turn.

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Saint-Etienne started to show more ambition with time running out, but the best they could muster was Kevin Monnet-Paquet’s long-range strike which flew harmlessly over, with the winger injuring himself in the process.

A late set-piece came to nothing for Les Verts, as PSG sealed a 20th win from only 23 Ligue 1 games this term.

Earlier on Sunday, Lille were held to a goalless draw by Montpellier, while Reims boosted their hopes of European qualification with a 2-0 victory over Rennes.

Murray Kinsella, Andy Dunne and Gavan Casey break down Ireland’s dogged win against Scotland in Murrayfield, and look at the room for improvement, in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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