Paris Saint-Germain vs. Montpellier – Football Match Report – January 27, 2018
Edinson Cavani became Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time top goal scorer as the Ligue 1 leaders eased to a 4-0 victory against Montpellier.
The striker began the match level with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s haul of 156 goals for the Parisian club but Cavani moved one clear when he found the back of the net after 11 minutes with a close-range finish.
Kylian Mbappe was unavailable for the second match in succession due to a head injury while new signing Lassana Diarra also missed out, but the hosts were unaffected by their absence as a brace from Neymar and an Angel Di Maria goal earned a routine win at Parc des Princes.
Unai Emery’s side came flying out the blocks and were inches from taking the lead in the third minute when some neat skill from Julian Draxler set himself free in the Montpellier penalty area, but his chip over the onrushing Benjamin Lecomte drifted just wide of the post.
Junior Sambia warmed the hands of home goalkeeper Alphonse Areola but Cavani only needed 11 minutes to rewrite the record books in Paris.
Neymar collected a long ball down field from Presnel Kimpembe before he threaded a through ball for Adrien Rabiot in the area, who drilled the ball across the six-yard box for the Uruguay international to tap home and spark wild celebrations.
Cavani was inches from adding his and Paris’ second of the match 10 minutes later when a wonderful cross from Giovani Lo Celso was destined to find the 30-year-old at the far post, but defender Pedro Mendes got a vital touch to deny the striker.
Conceding the early goal spurred Montpellier into action as Sambia tested Areola once more from long range before Paul Lasne drilled an effort wide and Ellyes Skhiri had a shot well blocked by the home defence.
However, the hosts managed to extend their advantage five minutes minutes before the break when Draxler’s goal-bound effort struck the hand of Mendes which gave referee Frank Schneider no choice but to point to the penalty spot, with Neymar converting for his 24th goal in 25 appearances for the club.
The Brazil international went close to netting his second on the stroke of half-time with a great turn and shot from the 15 yards out, with Lecomte thwarting the forward with a great save down to his right.
The second half started in slow fashion with neither side threatening, although the visitors looked the more likely to score.
Sambia saw his powerful free-kick deflect over the crossbar from 25 yards before Lasne’s fierce drive from the edge of the area was blocked by the head of Kimpembe.
Montpellier came close to halving the deficit after 67 minutes when a powerful strike from Sambia was parried by Areola straight into the path of substitute Souleymane Camara, but he could only blaze over from eight yards.
However, Michel Der Zakarian’s side were to rue their missed chances as PSG increased their lead after 70 minutes when a fantastic pass from substitute Javier Pastore set Thomas Meunier free to cut the ball back for Di Maria to slot in first time.
It got even better for the hosts as Neymar doubled his tally seven minutes from time following a neat flowing move between Di Maria and Cavani set up the 25-year-old to tap into an empty net for their fourth.
Cavani missed a gilt-edged chance from six yards out in the final minute of the match, which would have added further gloss to the result, as Emery’s side extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 11 points.