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Ajaccio 0-3 Paris Saint-Germain: Messi and Mbappe magic stuns hosts
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Nicholas McGee
Stats Perform
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe inspired PSG to victory at Ajaccio
Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe inspired PSG to victory at Ajaccio

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe combined superbly to inspire Paris Saint-Germain to a 3-0 Ligue 1 win at Ajaccio on Friday.

The defending champions were without the suspended Neymar, leaving it up to the two other stars on their forward line to send PSG six points clear at the top. They did so in style.

Mbappe, who recently slammed reports of him wanting to leave the club as "completely false", cut a frustrated figure for much of the game even after breaking the deadlock in the 24th minute.

He was teed up by Messi for that opener before missing a series of chances to claim a hat-trick.

However, a commanding PSG display was eventually reflected by the scoreline as Mbappe and Messi linked up brilliantly for the latter to make it 2-0 before the long-time Real Madrid target added further gloss with his second.

Vincent Marchetti fired over as the hosts started brightly, but Ajaccio were punished for leaving Messi and Mbappe far too much space as the former Barcelona superstar played the France forward in for a routine finish.

Yet joy soon turned to frustration for Mbappe, who wasted two gilt-edged chances to double PSG's lead, blazing over on each occasion.

Mbappe's woes continued in the second half as he cleared the crossbar again, yet his profligacy was never likely to matter.

He ensured it would not in a bewitching move with Messi for PSG's 78th-minute second.

Mbappe's backheel return pass in their one-two was exquisite and Messi finished the move in fitting fashion by shifting the ball beyond the helpless Benjamin Leroy and tapping into an empty net.

Messi then returned to the role of creator, teeing up Mbappe on the edge of the box, with Leroy left with no chance by a fierce finish into bottom left-corner.

What does it mean? - PSG cruising through title defence

While nearest challengers Lorient are at least giving the title race a veneer of competitiveness, PSG's six-point lead over the Brittany club is not reflective of their dominance.

They are now unbeaten in their last 21 games in Ligue 1, their joint-longest unbeaten streak, which they last set between May 19, 2018 and January 27, 2019.

Mbappe makes his point

Having had to deny transfer speculation and then deal with being booed in Paris at the Ballon d'Or ceremony this week, Mbappe made his point on the pitch.

Though he could have had three more, his double made it 10 goals in 10 league games for Mbappe, putting him on pace to smash last season’s effort of 28 in 35. Six of his goals have been assisted by Messi, whose tally now stands at nine goals created.

Quiet day for Donnarumma

PSG have kept a clean sheet in three successive Ligue 1 games, a run of 342 minutes without conceding.

There was rarely any danger of Gianluigi Donnarumma being beaten here, Ajaccio finishing the game with 0.2 expected goals.

What's next?

PSG host Maccabi Haifa as they look to secure progression from Champions League Group H on Tuesday, before welcoming Troyes to the Parc des Princes a week on Saturday. Ajaccio visit Auxerre a day later.


Paris Saint-GermainLigue 1AC Ajaccio
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