Saturday, February 22, 2020

Monaco 1-4 Paris Saint-Germain: Mbappe at the double as VAR frustrates hosts

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 15 Jan 2020

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Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain returned to winning ways in Ligue 1 with a 4-1 victory over Monaco in a match marred by contentious VAR decisions.

Three days after playing out a 3-3 draw at Parc des Princes, the teams met again at Stade Louis II in a rearranged match. 

An end-to-end start was capped off by Mbappe resuming his scoring run, though VAR should have awarded Monaco a penalty shortly after the restart.

Monaco’s frustration with the officiating was compounded in first-half stoppage time as Neymar scored his second penalty in as many matches after a blatant dive from Layvin Kurzawa.

Pablo Sarabia’s strike increased PSG’s lead – though only after a VAR review – with Tiemoue Bakayoko scuffing in a consolation goal before Mbappe doubled his tally in stoppage time.

Both teams picked up where they left off after Sunday’s thrilling encounter in Paris, Keylor Navas and Benjamin Lecomte making excellent stops before Mbappe slotted home in the 24th minute.

A lengthy VAR check for a possible foul and offside frustrated PSG, and Gelson Martins would have equalised immediately if not for Navas, though the hosts were furious that they were not awarded a penalty for an apparent handball by Presnel Kimpembe prior to the shot.

And, after Lecomte had made a fantastic save from Mbappe and Colin Dagba had a goal disallowed for offside, Monaco felt let down by more poor officiating.

Kamil Glik stood his ground heading into a challenge with Kurzawa, who clearly initiated the contact on the byline, yet VAR did not overturn the referee’s decision to award PSG a penalty, which Neymar converted.

Wissam Ben Yedder should have done better at the end of a superb move midway through the second half, but the contest was settled when Sarabia volleyed in a minute after coming on.

Navas’ mistake did allow Bakayoko to bundle in a deserved goal for Monaco, yet it was Mbappe who had the final say when he raced through to add his second, this time celebrating against his former club after not doing so the first time around.

 

What does it mean? Moreno’s Monaco far too open

A double header against the champions is not the ideal start for any coach but, though he can take plenty of positives from his side’s attacking displays, Robert Moreno has already seen his side concede seven goals in his first two league matches. The former Spain coach must find a way to shore things up at the back.

Monaco sit ninth, with their five-match unbeaten Ligue 1 run having been ended, while PSG are now eight points clear at the top.

Magical Mbappe back on target after missing out on PSG record

Former Monaco prodigy Mbappe’s failure to score against his old club on Sunday meant he missed the chance to become the first PSG player to score in nine successive matches.

However, he was in rampant form on his old stomping ground this time around and took his opener in typically composed fashion after a trademark run.

Officials have a horror show

Moreno’s side will have every right to feel aggrieved, with the officials – both on the field and in utilising the video review system – making some poor decisions in the first half.

Kimpembe should have been punished for handball in the build up to Martins’ chance following PSG’s opener, while VAR bizarrely did not overturn the visitors’ penalty despite Kurzawa’s theatrics. Even the visitors’ third goal – which was clearly onside – took an unnecessary amount of time to be awarded.

What’s next?

Both sides are in action in the Coupe de France on Sunday, with PSG travelling to Lorient and Monaco facing Saint-Pryve Saint-Hilaire.

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