Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Score to Hand PSG Ligue 1 Win vs. Nantes

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIDecember 4, 2019

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) and Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrate after scoring their team's first goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and FC Nantes (FCN) at the Parc des Princes in Paris, on December 4, 2019. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe were on target as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nantes 2-0 on Wednesday in Ligue 1 at the Parc des Princes.

The hosts had the best chances of the first half but could not make the breakthrough. Mbappe fired an effort high over the bar inside the first 10 minutes and put another shot over on the half-hour mark.

Neymar thought he had given PSG the lead four minutes before half-time from Angel Di Maria's corner, but the goal was ruled out for a foul in the build-up after a VAR check.

PSG turned up the pressure after the break and broke the deadlock on 52 minutes. Neymar and Di Maria combined to tee up Mbappe to backheel the ball past goalkeeper Albon Lafont from inside the penalty area.

Neymar secured all three points from the penalty spot after Lafont fouled substitute Mauro Icardi. The Brazilian coolly slotted his spot-kick home for his fifth league goal of the season.

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel named Neymar and Mbappe together in his starting XI for the first time this season in Ligue 1. Julian Draxler and Layvin Kurzawa also returned, while Nantes made just one change and brought in Youan in place of Kalifa Coulibaly.

Mbappe threatened early on with a shot that flew well over the bar. Di Maria found the France international inside the penalty area, but his right-footed effort was poor and did not trouble goalkeeper Lafont.

Nantes did get sight of the PSG goal in the first half. Kader Bamba cut in from the right and found Mehdi Abeid who managed to get a first-time shot away that drifted over the crossbar.

The action then switched straight down the other end with Thomas Meunier breaking clear on the right and picking out Mbappe, only for the World Cup winner to again shoot wastefully over.

Neymar did manage to get the ball in the back of the net towards the end of the half. Youan sliced his clearance from Di Maria's corner straight to the Brazilian who smashed the ball into the net only to see it chalked off.

The Brazilian was then denied by Lafont in stoppage time after good work from Marquinhos and also saw a penalty appeal turned down after colliding with Nicolas Pallois.

The chances continued to flow after half-time. Mbappe surged into the box on 50 minutes and saw his low shot expertly saved by a diving Lafont.

Yet the 20-year-old did not have to wait too much longer for his goal. Neymar sent Di Maria racing down the right, and he picked out Mbappe to cleverly backheel past Lafont, as shown by BT Sport (UK only):

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

Audacious from Mbappe! PSG breakthrough and the wonderkid gets the opener with a perfect backheel finish. https://t.co/L9nsCbaWwc

Opta highlighted Mbappe's impressive goalscoring record:

OptaJean @OptaJean

+1 - Only 2 players have scored more than 1 goal per game in the top 5 leagues since last season Messi 🇦🇷 - 1.05 (45 goals en 43 games) Mbappé 🇫🇷 - 1.03 (39 goals en 38 games) Superhero. @PSG_English https://t.co/L85SK0hU9c

Nantes could have levelled on the hour after a quick break. Bamba brought the ball forwards but lost possession when Thiago Silva challenged. Imran Louza picked up possession on the edge of the box but to shot straight at Keylor Navas.

Neymar wrapped up the win after Icardi collided with Lafont and won a penalty. The Brazilian had to retake his spot-kick after PSG were penalised for encroachment but had no troubled beating Lafont to make it 2-0.

The 27-year-old was replaced by Edinson Cavani late on and was booed again by supporters:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

Neymar booed off by the Ultras as much because it is him as it is Cavani coming on to replace him. #PSGFCN

PSG needed Navas to produce two good saves to prevent Nantes pulling one back in stoppage time. The Costa Rican turned Mehdi Abeid's shot around the post and then tipped Pallois' powerful header over the bar from the resulting corner.

The result makes it four straight Ligue 1 wins for PSG and moves them five points clear of Marseille at the top of the table in France. 


What's Next?

PSG are back in Ligue 1 action on Saturday away at Montpellier. Nantes play on Sunday at home to Dijon.