PARIS: Kylian Mbappe’s goal set Paris Saint-Germain on their way to a 4-1 win at Strasbourg on Saturday as Mauricio Pochettino’s side moved back to within three points of leaders Lille in the Ligue 1 title race.
Pablo Sarabia and Moise Kean also scored in the first half while Leandro Paredes netted the fourth from a free-kick as PSG made short work of a trip to Alsace that fell in between the two legs of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich.
Youngster Moise Sahi pulled a goal back for Strasbourg but the defending champions bounced back from losing at home to Lille last weekend and closed the gap on the leaders after they triumphed 2-0 at Metz on Friday.
Mbappe had netted twice in PSG’s stunning 3-2 win away to Bayern on Wednesday which gave them the upper hand before the return leg in Paris this coming Tuesday.
Pochettino made seven changes to his team from the match in Germany, with Neymar one of the players to drop out as he began a two-game domestic ban following his red card against Lille.
Captain Marquinhos also missed out after coming off injured in midweek, but Mbappe kept his place.
After Adrien Thomasson crashed an early shot off the post for Strasbourg, Mbappe opened the scoring in the 16th minute, collecting a Paredes pass and cutting into the box from the left before placing his shot through the legs of goalkeeper Matz Sels from a tight angle.
It was Mbappe’s 21st Ligue 1 goal of the season and his 33rd in all competitions in 39 games.
Sarabia was handed a rare start and the Spaniard took advantage to make it 2-0 before the half-hour mark, controlling a Danilo Pereira pass on the edge of the box and slotting low into the corner.
Italian striker Kean added another on the stroke of half-time, firing home first-time from Mbappe’s pass for his 18th goal since signing on loan from Everton.
Malian youngster Sahi pulled one back for Strasbourg within moments of coming on for just his second Ligue 1 appearance shortly after the hour mark, but Argentina midfielder Paredes secured PSG’s victory from a 79th-minute free-kick given for a foul on Mbappe.
Lille’s win at Metz on Friday was secured thanks to second-half goals by Turkish duo Burak Yilmaz and Zeki Celik after goalkeeper Mike Maignan saved an early penalty by Aaron Leya Iseka.