Kylian Mbappe marked his return from injury by teeing up Neymar for the only goal of the game as Paris Saint-Germain got back to winning ways in Ligue 1 with a 1-0 triumph at Bordeaux.
Mbappe had not featured since August 25 because of a muscle problem but came off the bench in the second half to make a telling impact for the defending champions.
The France forward was introduced on the hour mark and 10 minutes later he laid on a close-range winner for Neymar.
Victory for Thomas Tuchel’s men sees them go two points clear at the top of the table, though surprise package Angers can go back level with them at the summit by beating Amiens.
30 – Kylian Mbappé against Bordeaux (30 minutes):
5 shots (3 on target)
13 touches in the opposite box
Bordeaux against Paris (90 minutes):
4 shots (1 on target)
7 touches in the opposite box
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) September 28, 2019
Pablo Sarabia saw a goal ruled out for offside in the ninth minute, and a frustrating first half for the visitors – beaten at home by Reims in midweek – featured a booking for coach Tuchel after he expressed his disdain at a free-kick given to Bordeaux.
His side dominated throughout and Thomas Meunier dragged an effort wide before Angel Di Maria and Neymar were each denied by Benoit Costil in quick succession.
Neymar then headed wide after more good work down the right from Meunier, with PSG’s profligacy forcing Tuchel’s hand as Mbappe was summoned to join the action. He wasted an early opportunity too, shooting straight at Costil, before Neymar sent another header off target at the far post with the goal at his mercy.
Yet PSG’s persistence was finally rewarded when Pablo carelessly lost the ball in his own half and Mbappe broke free down the right, firing a low cross in for Neymar to tuck into the bottom-left corner.
Mbappe’s cameo was arguably worthy of a goal but Costil kept his team in it with another fine save after a break from the World Cup winner, who blasted over the bar shortly after on a day when PSG should have won by a much more convincing margin.
There was controversy late on, though, as Bordeaux had an appeal for a penalty rejected by VAR despite Idrissa Gueye appearing to make contact with Loris Benito, but a point for the hosts would have been scarcely deserved.
What does it mean? PSG back on track
Travelling to a side fifth in the league on the back of being undone by Reims could have been a tough test for PSG, but they negotiated it with ease and the manner of the victory would have been far more emphatic on another day.
Mbappe makes his mark
In just 30-odd minutes on the pitch, Mbappe had more shots, more shots on target and more touches in the opposition box than Bordeaux did in the entire game. He was unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet, while the presence of Mauro Icardi on the bench for a team still missing Edinson Cavani is a daunting demonstration of PSG’s depth up front.
Pablo pays the price
Bordeaux lived dangerously for the entirety of the contest and they were eventually punished as Brazilian defender Pablo committed the kind of mistake opponents can ill-afford to make against PSG.
PSG, having started their European campaign by brushing aside Real Madrid, travel to Istanbul to face Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday. They then host high-flying Angers next Saturday, when Bordeaux visit Toulouse in the Derby de la Garonne.
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