Paris Saint-Germain continued their march to the Ligue 1 title with a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Brest in front of a reduced Parc des Princes crowd.
There are now 11 points between PSG and nearest challengers Nice following Saturday’s fairly routine victory.
The first major chance actually went the way of Brest when Presnel Kimpembe somehow let a meek cross between his feet, and Gianluigi Donnarumma had to throw down a strong hand to deny Irvin Cardona.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side were initially struggling to break their resolute visitors down, and were wasting the chances that they did get – Angel Di Maria made a meal of what should have been a simple cross for Mauro Icardi to tap in, with his ball wayward.
But of course, PSG have the star quality to hurt anyone, and headline-maker Kylian Mbappe gave them the lead with a cute near-post finish just after the half-hour mark.
Les Parisiens should have doubled their lead moments later when Nuno Mendes’ teasing cross was missed completely by Icardi, and they were unable to scramble home the loose ball.
Icardi did have the ball in the back of the net before the break, but was adjudged to have fouled goalkeeper Marco Bizot when jumping to reach the ball.
Following some neat footwork on the edge of the area, PSG nearly doubled their lead just after the interval, but Marco Verratti’s improvised toe-poke bounced back off the post.
PSG’s second came with a full-back to full-back combination, with Mendes running on to a perfectly-weighted ball from Marquinhos, and the Portuguese pulled back for Thilo Kehrer to score his second goal in two games.
That seemed to knock the stuffing out of Brest, who retreated into their shells and allowed PSG to overwhelm them.
Substitute Danilo Pereira nearly snuck an effort in at the near post before Marquinhos and Icardi had efforts cleared off the line, while Mbappe’s deflected strike required an acrobatic stop from Bizot.
Kehrer should have grabbed his brace when Verratti picked him out in acres of space inside the Brest box, but he couldn’t keep his composure this time.
Mbappe and Danilo had further chances to increase the scoring but were unable to find the net and the hosts had to settle for a two-goal win.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) – 7/10 – Made a couple of top saves which he probably shouldn’t have had to deal with.
Thilo Kehrer (RB) – 8/10 – Didn’t offer too much going forward in the first half but did so well galloping forward in the second.
Marquinhos (CB) – 7/10 – As dependable as always, you can see why PSG are so keen to tie him down to a new deal.
Presnel Kimpembe (CB) – 4/10 – Made a foolish early error but didn’t let it faze him too much.
Nuno Mendes (LB) – 9/10 – Adventurous going forward and was rewarded with an assist.
Marco Verratti (CM) – 8/10 – Combative and graceful as always. Unfortunate to see his toe-poke meet the upright rather than the net.
Ander Herrera (CM) – 5/10 – A little too aggressive and isn’t of much use in games like this when he isn’t contributing goals.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 6/10 – Much tidier back in his natural position after recent forays on the wing. Replaced at half-time following an ankle injury.
Angel Di Maria (RW) – 7/10 – Looked either incredible or way out of his depth, which is impressive for someone with so much obvious quality and experience.
Mauro Icardi (CF) – 7/10 – This was a performance unlike Icardi’s usual displays. He was a nuisance and created trouble wherever he went rather than just hanging on the periphery of the match.
Kylian Mbappe (LW) – 8/10 – He sulked, he stropped, he nearly got himself sent off. But the boy is a star.
Danilo Pereira (CM, 46′ for Wijnaldum) – 6/10 – Created quite a bit of havoc at both ends.
Sergio Ramos (CB, 72′ for Di Maria) – 6/10 – Was cheered whenever he got on the ball on his home debut.
Leandro Paredes (CM, 80′ for Herrera) – N/A
Xavi Simons (CF, 80′ for Icardi) – N/A
Edouard Michut (CM, 90′ for Verratti) – N/A