A severely depleted Paris Saint-Germain defeated Angers 2-1 to consolidate their position at the top of the league table. The Parisian club was missing its key South American stars – Lionel Messi, Neymar and Marquinhos.
Angers took the lead against the run of play in the 36th minute. Former Southampton midfielder Sofiane Boufal picked out Angelo Fulgini’s run at the far post with a superb cross, and the latter poked the ball past Gianluigi Donnarumma from close range.
Gerald Baticle’s men have enjoyed a fine season so far; they had won four of their nine games prior to the Parisians encounter and had even gone top of the table briefly during the opening weeks.
Messi and Neymar’s participation in the WC2022 qualifiers rendered them unavailable for the game, which meant that the burden of attacking responsibility fell to Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman cut a frustrating figure during the first half – with supply and support hard to come by.
Mbappe derived much more joy out of the second half. First, he had a cross-cum-shot parried away by Paul Bernardoni in the Angers goal – in the 68th minute. A minute later, he crossed in for Danilo Pereira to head home the equalizer.
He then took the opportunity to give PSG the lead from the spot in the 87th minute, but only after a controversial decision. Icardi, who looked to have fouled Romain Thomas, subsequently headed the ball against the arm of Pierrick Capelle in the same phase of play. V
AR, however, penalized the Angers defender for a deliberate handball inside the box, thus awarding the Parisiens a spot-kick – which Mbappe converted.
With one more game played, Mauricio Pochettino’s men are cruising at the top of the table after collecting 27 points out of a possible 30 and are nine ahead of second-placed Lens.