Kylian Mbappe enjoyed a topsy-turvy evening in Strasbourg as he missed a penalty, scored his 20th goal of the season and set up the winner in a 2-1 away win that stretches Paris Saint-Germain’s lead at the top of the table.
A dramatic start to the game saw Mbappe’s penalty spectacularly saved by Strasbourg goalkeeper Alaa Bellaarouch, with the Moroccan stopper brilliantly tipping the spot-kick over the bar.
But Bellaarouch’s evening took a calamitous turn for the worse when he delayed a clearing kick, allowing Marco Asensio to block it into the path of an unmarked Mbappe, who slotted into an empty net.
Strasbourg had missed a number of decent opportunities in the first half and were unfortunate to find themselves a goal down at the break. But they were soon two behind after the restart, when Mbappe began a counter-attack with a brilliant back-heel before racing up-field to play a gorgeous cross to Asensio, who finished off a flowing counter-attack move.
Dilane Bakwa’s well-taken volley earned Strasbourg the goal that they deserved and set up a fascinating end to the game, with Patrick Vieira’s young side creating a number of great opportunities to deny PSG the win.
But the league leaders held on and extend the gap at the top of the table to nine points, with their closest rivals yet to play in matchday 20.
Talking Point – Not all rosy for PSG
This was an evening that featured the best and worst of Paris Saint-Germain, who produced a counter-attacking goal of the highest quality to make it 2-0, but looked extremely vulnerable at times defensively.
Luis Enrique’s stretched squad will be delighted to return to Paris with all three points, but it was notable how much the level of performance dropped when he opted to rest key players ahead of a busy week of fixtures. The withdrawal of Marquinhos, Ugarte and Kolo Muani were all big gambles, and PSG looked all at sea without that key trio, giving the manager some food for thought no doubt.
Player of the Match – Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Mbappe was not at his best in this game, drifting in and out of it, particularly during a patchy first half.
But one of the things that makes Mbappe so impressive is how he can impact a game even when not playing well, and he took his goal well to give PSG their half-time lead.
And the Paris second, which turned out to be the difference between the two teams, hinged on the brilliance of Mbappe.
His back-heel to start a counter-attack was class enough on his own, but he showed off his turn of pace to get up with the break again before playing the perfect cross with the outside of his boot to set up Asensio.
Strasbourg had more chances and the better of the opportunities, but moments of quality like Mbappe’s win games.
Strasbourg: Bellaarouch 6, Senaya 5, Perrin 6, Sylla 5, Guilbert 6, Diarra 7, Sissoko 6, Mwanga 7, Angelo 7, Dion 6, Bakwa 7. Subs: Emegha 6, Deminguet 6, Bechikh 6.
PSG: Donnarumma 8, Soler 6, Marquinhos 8, Beraldo 6, Hernandez 6, Zaïre-Emery 7, Ugarte 7, Ruiz 7, Kolo Muani 7, Mbappé 8, Asensio 8. Subs: Vitinha 6, Pereria 6, Mukiele 6.
1’ – SHOULD BE 1-0: The ball breaks off a block and back to Dion, who’s just yards from goal and in space. But Donnarumma spreads himself way to make a save from point-blank range with his shoulder. What a huge let-off in the early seconds of the game for the league leaders.
4’ – PENALTY! It’s end-to-end in Strasbourg as both teams counter in quick succession. Kolo Muani goes on a marauding run into the box and he’s fouled inside the box, with the referee pointing to the spot straight away. VAR will check it, as contact was light at best.
6’ – MBAPPE MISSES FROM THE SPOT! It’s Mbappe who steps up with the spot-kick, but he fails to convert as Bellaarouch makes a brilliant save. PSG miss a huge opportunity to take an early lead, but has justice been done after that contentious decision to award the penalty in the first place?
31’ – GOAL! STRASBOURG 0-1 PSG (MBAPPE): What a gift for the visitors! Bellaarouch takes a bit too long to play it out from the back and his clearance is blocked by Asensio straight into the path of Mbappe, who has the task of passing the ball into an empty net from the edge of the box. It’s his 20th goal of the season and none will have been as straightforward as that. 1-0.
49’ – GOAL! STRASBOURG 0-2 PSG (ASENSIO): Ruthless from PSG, who double their lead early in the half. It’s a brilliant counter-attack that finds Mbappe in space on the left, who bends a delightful cross with the outside of his boot in to Asensio, who takes a touch and knocks past the keeper. 2-0.
68’ – GOAL! STRASBOURG 1-2 PSG (BAKWA): We’ve got a game on in Strasbourg. A beautiful deep cross from Borges finds Bakwa at the back post, who takes it first time with a side-footed volley to pull a goal back. 2-1!
- Kylian Mbappe has now scored 20 league goals this season.
- Mbappe has double the number of goals than Ligue 1’s second-best goalscorer, Wissam Ben Yedder of AS Monaco (10).
Read the full article here