POST TIME: 14 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
PSG bounce back from League Cup exit
Afp, Paris

PSG bounce back from League Cup exit

Paris Saint-Germain’s forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 match against Amiens at the Licorne stadium in Amiens on Saturday. AFP PHOTO

Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe scored as Paris Saint-Germain responded to their shock midweek League Cup defeat by claiming a 3-0 win at Amiens on Saturday to move 13 points clear at the Ligue 1 summit.

PSG had seen their bid for a sixth straight League Cup title ended in midweek by struggling Guingamp at the Parc des Princes, but were too strong for a dogged Amiens.

The reigning French champions remain unbeaten after 18 games of the league season, and sit 13 points ahead of second-placed Lille, with two games in hand.

“What can we win in a game against Guingamp? Nothing, we had everything to lose,” said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.

“If we had won 1-0, everyone would have said, ‘It’s only 1-0 against Guingamp at the Parc des Princes’, no one would say bravo.

“Our challenge is to do things by being very focused... It’s hard to play, even today, with the mentality to start again.”

Tuchel left Neymar out of the squad for the trip to the Stade de la Licorne to rest a sore knee, and his side struggled to create any chances of note in a drab first half.

“He had pain in his knee and couldn’t feel free in his movements,” said Tuchel. “He’s been with us since January 4.

“He’s played two games. It was too risky (to play), it’s more important that he’s not hurt and he can do a week (training) with us in Doha.”

PSG were gifted an opportunity to take the lead in the 57th minute when Angel Di Maria’s powerful shot struck the arm of a sliding Alexis Blin from barely a yard away, with the capital club awarded a penalty just three days after conceding three against Guingamp.

Cavani stepped up to slot the ball into the middle of the net and score his 14th goal of the season in all competitions.

An uphill battle became a mountainous one for the home team when Mbappe was hauled down by Khaled Adenon, and after the World Cup winner gestured to the referee to send off the Amiens wing-back, the official obliged by showing the 33-year-old a second yellow card.

It did not take long for Mbappe to take full advantage of Adenon’s dismissal himself, as Cavani found space on the right and crossed low for the forward to tap in his 18th goal this term.

Amiens’ hopes of getting something from the game had long vanished when PSG centre-back Marquinhos ventured forward to divert home Julian Draxler’s cutback to make it three with 11 minutes to play.

On Friday, Lille had consolidated second spot with a 3-1 win at Caen, while third-placed Lyon were held at home by Reims.

Former Arsenal and Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas could make his debut for Thierry Henry’s struggling Monaco at Marseille on Sunday after joining on a three-and-a-half year deal from Chelsea.