Idrissa Gueye and Julian Draxler scored the goals to secure a comfortable 2-0 win for Paris Saint-Germain against Montpellier in their Ligue 1 clash on Saturday.
Gueye smashed in the opener inside the opening 15 minutes at the Parc des Princes as Mauricio Pochettino's side prospered despite the continued absence of Lionel Messi, who was missing for a second consecutive game.
The final margin perhaps flattered Montpellier, who appeared to lack attacking intent despite netting 15 times in their first seven league games, while the hosts carelessly wasted chances through Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
However, substitute Draxler added a late second as PSG moved 10 points clear at the summit, albeit Marseille do have two games in hand as they aim to make up early ground on the leaders.
Gueye spurned the first chance of the contest as he sliced wide from Abdou Diallo's cut-back pass, before Neymar chipped narrowly over and Mbappe was denied by Jonas Omlin's legs in a frantic opening five minutes.
However, the hosts managed to break the deadlock through Gueye, who arrowed a left-footed thunderbolt from the edge of the area into the roof of the net from Angel Di Maria's offload.
Teji Savanier's free-kick almost drew Montpellier level immediately, Keylor Navas parried the attempt away, before Ander Herrera's left-footed volley was denied by the crossbar moments before the break.
Omlin had to react quickly after the interval to push away following Mbappe's deflected pass off Nicolas Cozza, with Navas then stopping Stephy Mavididi's low curler at the other end.
Mbappe should have added two goals within as many minutes, though his hesitation derailed the first chance before rounding the goalkeeper with his second and yet somehow slicing wide.
PSG continued to struggle to kill the game off, Neymar uncharacteristically poking wide from close range, but Draxler managed to slide through the legs of Omlin to finally secure victory in the 88th minute.
What does it mean? PSG continue to set the pace
PSG registered their sixth consecutive home win against Montpellier in the French top flight for the first time ever, making it 10 league victories on the bounce – the longest current streak in the competition.
Pochettino's side may have been without Messi once more, but they furthered their advantage at the top, potentially helpful breathing room when it comes to squad rotation around European commitments.
Presnel practically perfect
Presnel Kimpembe ensured a quiet outing for Navas with his efficient performance at the heart of the backline.
The centre-back completed 97.9 per cent of his 47 attempted passes – the highest ratio of any outfield player to play 90 minutes – and made five clearances, while also winning four of his five duels.
More needed from Mbappe?
It is hard to question Mbappe given his prolific nature and positive start to this term, but he failed to fire once more against Montpellier despite attempting a game-high five shots.
His blank against Olivier Dall'Oglio's team means for just the fourth time since the start of the 2018-19 campaign, he has failed to assist or score in successive games, having also missed out in the midweek win over Metz.
Key Opta facts
- PSG have won each of their first eight games in Ligue 1. This is only the third time that it has happened in the competition's entire history at the start of a season.
- Montpellier have failed to score for only the third time away from home in Ligue 1 in 2021 (15 games).
- PSG have scored five goals in the last five minutes of contests in Ligue 1 this season, at least three more than any other side in the top tier.
- Gueye has scored four of his six goals for PSG in Ligue 1 from outside the opponent's box.
- Mbappe has failed to net with any of his last 13 attempts in Ligue 1, his longest drought in the competition since August-September 2019 (16 shots).
- Draxler scored only 19 seconds after being subbed on, becoming the fastest substitute to find the net in Ligue 1 2021-22 and PSG's quickest since Kevin Gameiro in December 2012 (17 seconds).
PSG face Manchester City in Tuesday's Champions League clash before travelling to Rennes on Sunday in Ligue 1. Montpellier host Strasbourg the day before.