Kylian Mbappe moved onto 51 Ligue 1 goals as Paris Saint-Germain extended their lead at the top of the table to 17 points with a 3-0 victory over Nimes on Saturday.
Thomas Tuchel’s men saw second-placed Lille held by Strasbourg on Friday and took full advantage to widen the gap at the summit.
PSG were far from their fluent best as Nimes threatened early on, but once Christopher Nkunku had calmly slotted home from Marco Verratti’s pass there was little doubt who would claim victory.
Mbappe could have easily had a hat-trick but had to settle for two in the closing stages to seal the points and reach his personal landmark.
50 – The three youngest players to reach 50 goals in Ligue 1 over the last 45 seasons.@KMbappe : 20 years, 2 months and 3 days (in February 2019)
Yannick Stopyra : 21 y, 11 m and 9 d (in December 1982)
Djibril Cissé : 22 y, 1 m and 22 d (in October 2003).
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) February 23, 2019
A sloppy start from the hosts should have been punished by Teji Savanier and Anthony Briancon in the opening 20 minutes, but both men saw their efforts sail over Alphonse Areola’s crossbar.
Eventually PSG found their rhythm and unsurprisingly Mbappe was the catalyst, the forward denied by the outstretched boot of Paul Bernardoni and the offside flag before the deadlock was broken.
A superb lofted pass from Verratti found Nkunku in behind the Nimes defence and he made no mistake with a cool finish past Bernardoni.
PSG thought they had a second on the brink of half-time but Mbappe’s close-range effort from Thiago Silva’s knockdown was rightly ruled out for deliberate handball – earning the 20-year-old a yellow card.
Another chance went begging when Mbappe dragged a low shot wide early in the second half, and Nkunku nearly doubled his tally with a chip that floated off target.
Mbappe finally got his landmark goal on 69 minutes, the forward pouncing on Juan Bernat’s cut-back following a surging run down the left.
Bernardoni needed to make another sharp stop to deny Mbappe moments later but there was nothing he could do to deny him in the final minute as PSG eased to another home win.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN? HOME COMFORTS FOR PSG
The Parc des Princes has been a fortress in Ligue 1 this season and that continued against Nimes as PSG made it 14 consecutive wins at home in 2018-19 – it was also their ninth clean sheet in that run.
MBAPPE REACHES 50
He may only be 20 but Mbappe already has 50 league goals to his name, his latest strikes taking him to 35 in PSG colours. The forward reached the milestone in the second half, having wasted a glut of chances beforehand.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) February 23, 2019
BAD DAY FOR BRIANCON
Despite keeping PSG at bay for much of the afternoon, a costly error at either end made it a Saturday to forget for Nimes captain Briancon. He wasted a glorious chance to open the scoring from Savanier’s left-wing corner, and then left Nkunku all alone to give PSG the game’s first goal.
PSG host Dijon in the Coupe de France quarter-final on Tuesday before travelling to Caen in the league next weekend, when Nimes will entertain Rennes at the Stade des Costieres.
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