Paris Saint-Germain extended their lead atop of the Ligue 1 table to six points with a 3-1 win over Troyes on Sunday evening.
Kylian Mbappe, Vitinha and Fabian Ruiz bagged the goals for PSG in what was a far-from-straightforward game for the table toppers.
PSG started brightly against the Ligue 1 strugglers and, as expected, hit the front quite early on. In the eighth minute that first goal would come from Kylian Mbappe, who reacted quickest at the back post to head home after a Vitinha cross deflected off of the bar and right into his path.
The visitors continued to pule on the pressure thereafter, with Fabian Ruiz forcing Gauthier Gallon into a smart save with an effort on goal from just outside the penalty area. From the resulting corner kick, Danilo Pereira came within a whisker of doubling PSG’s advantage, heading just over the crossbar from the near post area.
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Ruiz would once again force Gallon into a decent save five minutes later. The Troyes goalkeeper got down well at his near post to deny a venomous effort from the ex-Napoli man.
After missing those chances, PSG were almost shockingly pegged back when Gianluigi Donnarumma spilled the ball directly into the path of Ike Ugbo, who saw his subsequent effort on goal well blocked by Marquinhos.
Before half-time, Troyes came close to finding an equaliser, with a Ugbo heading forcing Donnarumma into a fantastic save at his near post to keep his side ahead going into half-time.
PSG came out with renewed vigour at the start of the second half. Hugo Ekitike and Marco Verratti both forced Gallon into action early in the half from in and around the penalty area. The Parisiens would eventually make that dominance count on the hour mark through Vitinha.
The young midfielder rushed in behind the Troyes defence to head an inch-perfect pass from Verratti goalward. Vitinha’s header was saved by Gallon, but fortunately ricocheted back off the midfielder’s leg and into the net.
Amazingly, Troyes found a route back into the game in the final 10 minutes through Xavier Chavalerin. The midfielder ghosted into the heart of the PSG box unmarked to get in front of the rather hapless Donnarumma to head home a Papa Ndiaga Yade header.
PSG reasserted their authority a few minutes later when Ruiz expertly side-footed the ball into the top left corner of the net from the edge of the box.
GK – Gianluigi Donnarumma – 3/10 – Nearly cost his team a goal on the half-hour mark but got away with it. Made amends on the stroke of half-time with a great save. Pulled off some astonishingly terrible goalkeeping in the lead up to Troyes’ goal.
CB – Danilo Pereira – 4/10 – Came close to scoring in the first half, then didn’t react at all to a cross into his area in the lead up to Troyes’ goal.
CB – Sergio Ramos – 3/10 – Completely asleep at the back, allowing Chavalerin to score.
CB – Marquinhos – 6/10 – Spared Donnarumma’s blushes in the first half.
RM – Warren Zaire-Emery – 6/10 – A decent performance.
CM – Vitinha – 8/10 – Scored a fortunate goal but was very good throughout.
CM – Marco Verratti – 7/10 – A much better performance this week. His perfect pass set up the second goal.
CM – Fabian Ruiz – 8/10 – Looked a bit more like the player everyone was so impressed with at Napoli. Scored a lovely goal.
LM – Juan Bernat – 6/10 – Provided the width well on the flank.
ST – Hugo Ekitike – 6/10 – Quite lively in and around the penalty area but still looks a long way off the standard required up front for PSG.
ST – Kylian Mbappe – 7/10 – Scored the opening goal inside the first 10 minutes.
Carlos Soler – N/A.
Renato Sanches – N/A.
Ismael Gharbi – N/A.
Manager – Christophe Galtier – 5/10 – Guided PSG to a win over the team sitting 19th in Ligue 1. Well done…we guess.