Clubs, French Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain, Saint-Etienne, Story

Paris Saint-Germain’s serial goal-getters Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi were at it again as the Ligue 1 leaders extended their advantage to seven points with a 4-0 victory at 10-man Saint-Etienne on Sunday.

Neymar struck early before Mbappe netted either side of the break and Icardi also scored to lift PSG to 42 points from 17 games as Saint-Etienne had Jean-Eudes Aholou sent off midway through the first half.

Neymar, who set up France international Mbappe for his eighth and ninth league goals of the season, missed a penalty just after the hour.

Following the match, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel acknowledged the chemistry between his two star players: “Of course, Neymar and Kylian like playing together and attacking together. For the past three games, we have found a system to play with four attacking players as we have so many of such quality — it gives us more options.

“Everyone is required to defend in a 4-4-2. We can do it, but it is true everyone also needs to be responsible. The guys are ready, they have shown that, and I really feel us playing as a team. Defensively, we are very strong — we are working well right now.”

PSG went ahead in the ninth minute when Paredes volleyed home from 18 metres after Mathieu Debuchy had cleared the ball into his path.

Les Verts went down to 10 men when Aholu was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Paredes.

The visitors were untroubled and Mbappe fired home from Neymar’s through ball in the 44th minute to double the tally.

Brazil forward Neymar saw his spot kick hit the post in the 62nd after he was brought down by Debuchy and Icardi netted his 13th goal in 14 games, volleying home from close range from a Layvin Kurzawa cross.

Mbappe rounded off the scoring with a clinical angled shot one minute from fulltime.

PSG have not lost a league match at St Etienne since 2008 and will await the results of Monday’s Champions League draw to find out who they will play in the round of 16.

Tuchel said: “I really think we can play [a 4-4-2] in the Champions League. Montpellier felt a bit like a European atmosphere and the same intensity as a group match. We did it again against Galatasaray and then again here. All games are important and we now have several possibilities.”

“We will take what we get in the Champions League draw and that is that. We will wait and see and then I will give my thoughts on it.”

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