Football

Cavani, Neymar shine as PSG go nine points clear

Edinson Cavani and Neymar were both on target as Paris Saint-Germain pipped champions Monaco 2-1 to go nine points clear atop France's Ligue 1 yesterday morning (Singapore time).

But it was a frustrating outing in the principality for the world's most expensive teenager Kylian Mbappe, who missed a raft of chances on his return to his former club who will bank 180 million euros (S$288.9 million) when his switch to PSG becomes permanent at the end of the season.

Unbeaten PSG have 38 points from 14 games, nine points clear of Lyon and Monaco, with Marseille one further adrift.

"We've won at the champions, that's good," said PSG coach Unai Emery. "Now we have to continue the work and improve further."

Cavani struck the opener, his 16th league goal this season and 22nd in all competitions, when he met a cutback from Julian Draxler on 19 minutes and toe-poked it into the top corner.

Neymar had rattled the post swiftly after the restart before winning a penalty as Almamy Toure ran into him.

Cavani had promised reporters Neymar would take PSG's next spot-kick and so it was.

The Brazilian, who had inspired a 7-1 Champions League thrashing of Celtic in midweek, coolly sent Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic the wrong way with his spot-kick on 52 minutes.

The home side may have sold several of their title-winning stars in the close season, but Leonardo Jardim's men rallied.

Radamel Falcao, with 13 goals from 10 Ligue 1 starts before this game, managed a fine header when surrounded by four PSG defenders and also fired a free-kick narrowly over.

Nine minutes from time, Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho pegged Paris back with a free-kick that struck Mbappe's head on the way into goal, but PSG held on.

In an earlier game, Memphis Depay starred with a double as Lyon thumped Nice 5-0 to move up to second, while Marseille stayed just a point off the Champions League spots with a 1-0 home win over Guingamp. - AFP