Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Clermont: Mbappe on target in emphatic win without Messi & Neymar

By Sports Desk September 11, 2021

Paris Saint-Germain maintained their 100 per cent record in Ligue 1 this season as Kylian Mbappe and Ander Herrera propelled Mauricio Pochettino's team to a 4-0 victory over Clermont.

Without Lionel Messi and Neymar, who along with Leandro Paredes and Angel Di Maria were given extra rest following their international exploits in midweek, PSG still made light work of sealing a fifth straight win.

Passed fit to feature after sustaining a calf injury while on France duty, Mbappe – the subject of three failed bids from Real Madrid at the end of August – scored his fourth goal of the season on a typically blistering counter-attack 10 minutes into the second half.

Herrera's first-half double had put PSG into a comfortable position, with promoted Clermont failing to test debutant Gianluigi Donnarumma despite plenty of attacking intent as Idrissa Gueye wrapped up an emphatic win.

Mbappe created PSG's first chance after 11 minutes, though Marquinhos was unable to direct the forward's free-kick either side of Arthur Desmas.

Clermont's resolve was punctured in the 20th minute, though – Herrera on hand to head home after Desmas had parried Achraf Hakimi's cross-shot.

Danilo Pereira would have made it 2-0 four minutes later if not for Akim Zedadka's block, yet PSG would not be denied for long.

Herrera was once again in the right place at the right time to pounce on a loose ball, this time lashing a finish into the roof of the net, while a goal-line block prevented Julian Draxler netting a third before half-time.

There was to be no such reprieve for Clermont early in the second half – Mbappe rounding the goalkeeper to finish coolly after racing onto Draxler's lofted pass.

Mbappe should have doubled his tally, or teed up Rafinha, just after the hour, only for the youngster to chip wide when one-on-one with Desmas.

He atoned moments later, a rebound from his shot falling to Gueye, who nodded in at the back post to cap off a slick display.

Related items

  • Benzema deserves Ballon d'Or and time has come to reward Real Madrid star, says Zidane Benzema deserves Ballon d'Or and time has come to reward Real Madrid star, says Zidane

    Karim Benzema deserves to become the first French winner of the Ballon d'Or since Zinedine Zidane – and that verdict comes from Zidane himself.

    Real Madrid striker Benzema, who has taken over the captaincy since Sergio Ramos joined Paris Saint-Germain, is playing the best football of his career as he approaches his 34th birthday in December.

    Zidane has seen that as close quarters, having had two spells as Madrid head coach during Benzema's time at the club.

    Although Zidane left Los Blancos at the end of last season, he is firmly in the Benzema camp when it comes to selecting a Ballon d'Or front-runner.

    Speaking to TF1's Telefoot, Zidane said: "We're talking about a player who deserves to win this Ballon d'Or.

    "He's an incredible player, I had the great honour of coaching him. He knows how to do everything on the pitch. I hope he can be rewarded with this Ballon d'Or. It's the right moment because he's at the top of his game."

    France international Benzema has been Madrid's attacking spearhead since Cristiano Ronaldo departed for Juventus in 2018 and has risen to that challenge.

    He has topped the 20-goal mark in LaLiga in the last three seasons and has nine strikes in eight games so far this term in the Spanish top flight.

    Last season, Benzema's 23 league goals came at an average of one every 126.13 minutes. They also came from an expected goals total of 18.81, indicating he is excelling in taking the chances that come his way.

    His LaLiga shot conversion rate so far in 2021-22 is 26.47 per cent, higher than he has achieved across any full league campaign since arriving in 2009 from Lyon.

    With three LaLiga titles and four Champions League wins in 12 years, Benzema has accrued plenty of silverware while with Los Blancos, much of it during Zidane's time in charge. He also helped France win the Nations League last weekend, scoring a stunning goal against Spain in the final.

    Now, individual acclaim may be coming his way, although Benzema faces stiff competition, with six-time winner Lionel Messi rated a favourite for the Ballon d'Or with British bookmakers, having helped Argentina win the Copa America.

    Benzema recently said it had been a long-held "dream of mine" to win the coveted award.

    Robert Lewandowski's record-breaking 41-goal Bundesliga season last term also puts him firmly into contention, while Jorginho has a strong claim after winning the Champions League with Chelsea and Euro 2020 with Italy.

    The Ballon d'Or winner will be announced on November 29 at a ceremony in Paris.

  • Messi is 'very happy' at PSG, says ex-Barcelona colleague Fabregas Messi is 'very happy' at PSG, says ex-Barcelona colleague Fabregas

    Lionel Messi is "very happy" at Paris Saint-Germain despite making a slow start to life in the French capital since his shock move from Barcelona, according to friend and former team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

    The six-time Ballon d'Or winner signed for Ligue 1 giants PSG in August after Barcelona, the club he had been associated with for 21 years, were unable to fulfil an agreement on a new contract due to financial reasons.

    Messi scored a staggering 672 goals and assisted 265 more in 778 appearances across 17 seasons in Barca's first team, but he has so far managed just one goal and zero assists in five games for his new club in what has been a stop-start campaign.

    He has had 13 shots during his 370 minutes on the field for PSG, finding the target from four of those.

    Monaco midfielder Fabregas has opened up on Messi's surprise departure from Camp Nou two months ago and has refuted previous suggestions that the Argentina international is unsettled in the French capital.

    "He's very happy. There are a lot of players he knows already and who speak Spanish. He's very happy, of course," Fabregas, who progressed through Barca's La Masia academy and returned to the club for a three-season spell in 2011, told Prime Video Sport.

    "I was on holiday with him a week earlier, and he told me he was close to signing for Barcelona and he was due to start training the following week.

    "Five days later, he told me it wasn't possible and that the club had told him to leave. I was very sad because I'm his friend and I'm a Barcelona fan. But now, I'm happy to be able to play against him this season."

    Messi was not included in PSG's squad for Friday's 2-1 win over Angers, the superstar forward not being considered for selection due to being in World Cup qualifying action for Argentina the previous day.

    Kylian Mbappe's contentious late penalty sealed a ninth win in 10 Ligue 1 games for leaders PSG, who return to action on Tuesday with a home match against RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

  • Aguero and Fati get Koeman call for Barcelona's huge Valencia clash Aguero and Fati get Koeman call for Barcelona's huge Valencia clash

    Sergio Aguero and Ansu Fati have been included in Barcelona's 23-man squad for Sunday's crucial LaLiga clash with Valencia at Camp Nou.

    Manchester City great Aguero has yet to feature in a competitive game for Barca since joining at the end of May, due to a troublesome calf issue.

    Fati is being eased back into the first team after a long-term knee injury absence, with the teenage forward having featured three times as a substitute since making a return from a near year-long lay-off.

    Both players are in contention to play a part against Valencia as Barca attempt to kickstart their LaLiga campaign on the back of a 2-0 loss to Atletico Madrid two weeks ago.

    Aguero's inclusion and the return of Fati will be considered a major boost for coach Ronald Koeman, whose side are down in ninth place after seven matches.

    Barca's shot conversion rate of 13.6 per cent in LaLiga this term is their lowest in a single campaign since 2007-08 (13.5 per cent).

    Asked on Saturday about Aguero's chances of playing his first competitive minutes at club level since the Champions League final, Koeman said: "He's improved a lot lately.

    "He played 20, 25 minutes in Wednesday's [practice] game and it is going well. But he lacks the rhythm of the games and a certain physique.

    "He will get that with games. His quality is not questioned; he can give a lot to this team. Especially up front."

    Fati has scored 14 goals in 46 appearances for Barca since making his senior debut in August 2019, but he has just 57 minutes of playing time under his belt this term and was not included in Spain's most recent squad.

    Koeman will not take any unnecessary risks over the youngster's fitness, with games against Dynamo Kiev and Real Madrid to follow in the coming week, in the Champions League and LaLiga respectively.

    "Every day he is doing better because he has been away for a long time," Koeman said at Saturday's pre-match news conference.

    "You have to think with Ansu that there are three games this week and he cannot play the entire three games. We must decide what is best for him and the team."

    Elsewhere, Barca are without the injured Ronald Araujo, Pedri, Martin Braithwaite and Ousmane Dembele.

    The Catalan giants have just lost one of their last 10 LaLiga games against Los Che (W5 D4) – a 2-0 reverse in January 2020 under Quique Setien.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.