Ligue One: Icardi Scores First Goal As PSG Cruise Past Angers
Mauro Icardi scored his first Ligue 1 goal as Paris Saint-Germain moved five points clear at the top of the table with a 4-0 thrashing of high-flying Angers on Saturday.
The reigning champions had suffered a shock 2-0 loss in their previous home game against Reims, but had no such trouble at the Parc des Princes on this occasion despite their opponents’ surprisingly strong start to the season.
PSG head into the international break totally in control of the title race, although Nantes, who leapfrogged Angers into second on goal difference, could cut the gap to two points when they host Nice later on Saturday.
Neymar’s late strike rounded off a strong individual display as he continued to repair his relationship with the team’s fans after failing in his effort to force through a return to Barcelona.
Tuchel opted to rest Angel Di Maria, as on-loan Inter Milan striker Icardi was rewarded for his first PSG goal in midweek at Galatasaray with a full Ligue 1 debut.
The capital city club remained without the injured Edinson Cavani, while Kylian Mbappe missed out after suffering a setback in his recovery from a thigh problem.
But the first opportunity fell to in-form Angers forward Rachid Alioui, but the Algerian dallied on the ball and home goalkeeper Keylor Navas was able to save with his foot.
The hosts took the lead in the 13th minute, though, as Ander Herrera played in Pablo Sarabia, who cut inside and wrong-footed Ludovic Butelle in the Angers goal to net for the first time since joining PSG from Sevilla in the close-season.
The visitors continued to threaten on the counter-attack, with Navas having to beat away Baptiste Santamaria’s long-range drive.
The game was all but ended as a contest eight minutes before the break, as Neymar and Sarabia combined to give Icardi the simplest of tasks to fire into the roof of the net.
Although Spain international Sarabia scuffed a rebound after his inital shot was cleared off the line just before the hour mark, former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye was on hand to tap in his first PSG goal.
But there was little respite for Angers, as Neymar launched a one-man mission in his attempt to get on the scoresheet.
The Brazilian was twice denied by Butelle in quick succession, before the goalkeeper produced a brilliant save with his legs when the world’s most expensive player was clean through on goal.
Neymar eventually found a way past Butelle in the final minute, rounding the ‘keeper and slotting into an empty net to complete a straightforward outing for PSG with his fourth goal of the campaign.