Edinson Cavani edged closer towards becoming Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time record scorer after netting the opener in their comfortable 3-1 win over Caen, while Kylian Mbappe celebrated his 19th birthday in style.
Uruguay striker Cavani scored with a superb flicked finish midway through the first half to move to 155 goals – one behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s record – and set Unai Emery’s side up for a routine evening.
Mbappe, playing on his birthday, had showed an electrifying blend of pace and skill to set up Cavani for that goal before getting on the scoresheet himself after 57 minutes.
Wonderfully teed up by the impressive Argentinian midfielder Giovani Lo Celso, the France international coolly slotted home to continue his fine start to life at the Parc des Princes.
Cavani missed a number of clear openings to add to his tally and will now have to wait until at least January 7 to pull past Ibrahimovic when the Ligue 1 giants take on Rennes in the Coupe de France.
Yuri Berchiche drilled in a third for the league leaders – who remain nine points clear of Monaco – after clever play from Neymar, before Caen scored a late consolation when Ivan Santini netted from the penalty spot.
— PSG English (@PSG_English) December 20, 2017
PSG started in typically dominant fashion and should have opened the scoring inside five minutes, but Mbappe uncharacteristically blazed over the crossbar after taking a touch past goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre to create room for the shot.
He made up for that miss in the 21st minute as his scintillating run from just inside the Caen half gave him room to tee up Cavani, who sumptuously backheeled past Vercoutre for his 19th Ligue 1 goal of the campaign.
Ronny Rodelin nearly struck back immediately for the visitors, but Kevin Trapp was equal to his well-struck volley, before Cavani squandered a glorious chance to grab his second, drilling agonisingly past the left post.
Neymar, who had been on the periphery of the game, came close to doubling the hosts’ advantage shortly before the interval, whipping a free-kick inches over the crossbar.
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) December 20, 2017
Cavani continued to be at the heart of everything and just failed to make a solid connection to Lo Celso’s throughball moments after the restart.
Caen clearly had no designs on damage limitation and they one more forced Trapp into action as he palmed Frederic Guilbert’s powerful drive over, before Cavani again squandered an opportunity, scuffing wide at the back post.
Mbappe then got the goal his effervescent display deserved as he met Lo Celso’s fine cross to send a controlled half-volley in for his eighth league goal of the campaign.
Lo Celso was denied a memorable first Ligue 1 goal when his exquisite chip was tipped wide by Vercoutre, while Neymar saw his low effort tipped onto the post by the overworked goalkeeper.
There was still time for a third as former Real Sociedad full-back Berchiche scored his first goal for the club with a powerful finish.
Caen at least ensured a late consolation when Thiago Silva was adjudged to have blocked a shot with his arm and Santini duly slotted home from the resulting spot-kick.
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