Paris Saint-Germain went three points clear at the Ligue 1 summit after Neymar (two), Edinson Cavani, Thomas Meunier, Julian Draxler and Kylian Mbappe all scored in a 6-2 win over Bordeaux at Parc des Princes on Saturday.
Strength. After failing to impose themselves away at Montpellier last week, PSG needed to show that they can be as strong domestically as they were in the Champions League in midweek and they succeeded by inflicting a first — and heavy — defeat in Le Championnat upon Bordeaux.
Formation. Not for the first time this season, Unai Emery changed from the possession-based 4-3-3 system to a more attacking 4-2-3-1 shape and the result was another lethal display in front of goal, even though the team still managed to ship two goals.
Togetherness. Neymar scored one free kick and one penalty against Bordeaux and even though it is easier to get over a controversial moment when you are winning in the way that PSG were against Jocelyn Gourvennec’s men, the players — notably the Brazilian superstar and Cavani — looked happy enough together.
Goals conceded. Although it was a very impressive performance in attack, Les Parisiens still contrived to allow Bordeaux to score twice through former youth academy graduate Younousse Sankhare and rising star Malcom.
Manager rating out of 10
8 — Emery’s decision to start the big three of Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani, as well as Draxler, was rewarded with a devastating attacking showing in the first half, enabling the Spaniard to make some rare early substitutions.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 7 — The Frenchman and his defence were given little chance on Bordeaux’s first goal after Marco Verratti was turned in a dangerous position, but the youth academy graduate was still alert enough to make a flying second-half save with the score at 6-1.
DF Thomas Meunier, 6 — The Belgium international got forward and grabbed himself a goal, but received a booking late in the first half and conceded a late penalty in a mixed performance.
DF Marquinhos, 7 — The Brazilian did a very good job in central defence alongside Presnel Kimpembe and as captain for the day, but his backline still shipped two goals.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 7 — The homegrown youngster paired well with Marquinhos but neither of them could save Verratti from embarrassment on Bordeaux’s first goal nor Meunier when he conceded the penalty for Les Girondins‘ second.
DF Yuri Berchiche, 6 — The Spaniard was solid enough at left-back and notched his maiden PSG assist by teeing up Meunier’s first-half strike — via Mbappe’s miscued swing.
MF Marco Verratti, 5 –– The Italy international got turned in the build-up to Bordeaux’s first goal and is still well below the high standards expected of him. It was a little surprising that Emery opted to replace Adrien Rabiot before the Azzurri star made way for Christopher Nkunku 11 minutes from time.
MF Adrien Rabiot, 6 — The France international was put in the shade by Draxler in the playmaker role, but he still put in a solid, if unspectacular, 69 minutes before he was replaced by Giovani Lo Celso.
MF Kylian Mbappe, 8 — The ex-Monaco man was exceptional in the midweek home win over Bayern Munich and he was very good against Bordeaux as well. Les Bleus’ latest star played a role in the buildup to Cavani’s goal (2-0) with a sublime flick before assisting Draxler’s volleyed finish and then getting in on the act himself in the second half.
MF Julian Draxler, 8 — The German put in his best display of the season so far in the No. 10 role and volleyed in his first goal this term before turning provider for Mbappe.
MF Neymar, 8 — The Brazilian was better against Bordeaux than he was against Bayern and opened the scoring with a phenomenal free kick before adding a second from the penalty spot before the break. After that, he broke out some tricks and flicks to keep the Parc des Princes crowd entertained.
ST Edinson Cavani, 6 — The Uruguay international scored PSG’s second goal and looked comfortable enough with Neymar, but it must have hurt El Matador to see the Brazilian score from the penalty spot, even if he did not show it.
RW Angel Di Maria, 5 — The Argentine replaced Cavani just after the hour mark but it was already 6-1 by then, so there was little left to do.
MF Giovani Lo Celso, 5 — Came on for Rabiot with 21 minutes to go but like his compatriot Di Maria, found that the damage had already been done.
MF Christopher Nkunku, NR –– The youth academy graduate was afforded the final 11 minutes of the match in place of Verratti.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.