Paris Saint-Germain recovered from their blip against Monaco to ease to a 3-0 win at Toulouse.
The Ligue 1 champions were held to a 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes on Sunday, but another surprise result was never on the cards in the south of France.
PSG dominated an open contest and would have won by a greater margin if not for a superb performance from Toulouse goalkeper Maxime Dupe.
But goals from Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Juan Bernat made if four wins from five for PSG, who have Marseille and Lens for company on 13 points at the top of the table.
Three goals and three points on this Wednesday
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 31, 2022
A frantic opening to the match saw both goalkeepers consistently forced into action. Thijs Dallinga twice drew a save from Gianluigi Donnarumma while Dupe did well to deny Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
Messi then fired wide from a Nuno Mendes pullback before seeing another low effort turned behind by the impressive Dupe, who produced more fine reflexes to keep out Mbappe’s deft near-post volley.
However, Dupe could do nothing to prevent Neymar rolling into the bottom-right corner after Marco Verratti and Messi linked up neatly, the goal initially disallowed for offside before VAR intervened and corrected the assistant referee.
PSG would have doubled their lead before half-time when Messi fashioned another opportunity, only for Dupe to prove equal to the close-range effort.
Dupe performed further heroics to claw out a vintage Messi free-kick but was eventually beaten again when Messi surged down the left, dropped his shoulder to send Mikkel Desler to the turf and teed up Mbappe for a simple finish.
Vitinha saw a curling effort kept out by the diving Dupe as his goal came under incessant pressure, with Mbappe frustrated again as his vicious effort clipped the crossbar before the Toulouse shot-stopper thwarted him once more at the end of quick break.
Mbappe did play a big role as PSG finally found a third, his long-range drive clattering the left-hand post and rebounding into the path of Bernat to rattle home.
What does it mean? – PSG illustrate chasm in class
PSG’s slip-up at the weekend proved there are some teams in Ligue 1 that can frustrate them into dropping points – Toulouse are not one of those teams.
Neymar, Mbappe and Messi were sensational in a wondrous display of their attacking quality. If not for Dupe, the scoreline could have been embarrassing for the hosts.
Messi may not have gotten on the scoresheet, but his stats are reflective of an utterly outstanding performance the like of which was all too rare in his first season at PSG.
He finished with seven shots, five of which hit the target, played four key passes and set up PSG’s first two goals. This was the little magician at his very best.
Dupe was a one-man brick wall throughout an incredible effort in between the posts that saw him produce nine saves. He may not have been able to prevent a Toulouse defeat, but his astonishing performance in keeping the score down could prove key in terms of goal difference come the end of the season.
PSG visit Nantes on Saturday, before Toulouse travel to Clermont on Sunday.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!