Paris St Germain continued their dominance of Ligue 1 with victory at reigning champions Monaco moving them nine points clear at the top of the table.
Edinson Cavani and Neymar, from the penalty spot, scored in a 2-1 win for PSG, who remain unbeaten in all competitions and have dropped only four points in 14 league matches this season.
Former Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe spurned numerous chances to make the scoreline wider and a difficult personal return to his old club was capped when Joao Moutinho’s free-kick deflected in off the teenager to make it 2-1.
After spending last season in Monaco’s shadow, PSG approached this campaign with renewed vigour and purpose – not to mention expense with the summer acquisition of Neymar, for a world record fee of over £200million, and Mbappe.
All eyes were on Mbappe, who was making his first return to the Stade Louis II. The 18-year-old played a key role in Monaco’s title success before joining PSG on loan, ahead of a planned permanent deal.
He should have scored in the second minute after being put through by Neymar but after reaching the ball ahead of the onrushing goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, Mbappe put his shot into the side netting with the goal at his mercy.
It was a huge let-off for Monaco and they escaped again after eight minutes. Cavani tried to back heel Mbappe’s pass across the face of the goal but Julian Draxler was unable to stretch enough to poke the ball home at the far post.
It was little surprise when PSG eventually took the lead after 19 minutes. Adrien Rabiot spotted Draxler drift into the penalty area behind the home defence and his low cross was brilliantly flicked over the advancing Subasic by Cavani, who now has 16 league goals for the season.
PSG dominated possession and the closest Monaco came in the first half was when Radamel Falcao curled a free-kick over the crossbar.
Only a fine fingertip save from Subasic prevented further damage just before the break as Draxler tried to round off a counter-attack down the left-hand side.
PSG opened up the Monaco defence again at the start of the second half as Mbappe and Cavani combined before Neymar saw his shot strike a post.
Mbappe then found himself one-on-one with Subasic once more and audaciously attempted to chip the goalkeeper, but Jemerson got back to head the ball away.
The second goal arrived after 52 minutes when Neymar gathered his feet to nonchalantly roll in a penalty after he was barged over by Almamy Toure.
Mbappe had more chances midway through the second half, blazing over the crossbar from Cavani’s lay-off before shooting wide with just Subasic to beat after Neymar put him through again.
Chances continued to come and go for PSG as Jemerson poked the ball against one of his own posts while Neymar’s floated cross towards the unmarked Cavani was headed over from eight yards out.
Monaco pulled one back in the 81st minute when Moutinho’s free-kick deflected off Mbappe and floated over goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. But Monaco could not find a late leveller.
Source: By PA Sport Staff