Mbappe, Neymar unlock Lille as PSG lay claim to new win record


Paris (AFP) – Kylian Mbappe and Neymar scored late goals to give Paris Saint-Germain a 2-1 win over nearest challengers Lille on Friday as the French champions extended to 12 games their perfect start to the season at the end of a troubled day for the club.

The Qatari-owned club were forced to release a statement shortly before kick-off to deny allegations made by a Football Leaks investigation that they had worked with UEFA to cover up breaches of their Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

However Mbappe restored smiles at the Parc des Princes with a magnificent strike from just outside the box 20 minutes from time, and Neymar gave PSG a two-goal buffer before Nicolas Pepe pulled one back for the away side from the penalty spot.

PSG extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 11 points after a 12th straight league win that means they have now beaten Tottenham Hotspur’s old record for consecutive wins at the start of a season.

Spurs emerged victorious from their opening 11 matches in their double-winning 1960-61 season, a performance that had stood since as a record in Europe’s so-called big five leagues — Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France.

The result is a boost for PSG ahead of their crucial Champions League trip to Italy to face Napoli next Tuesday, when a defeat could leave Thomas Tuchel’s side on the brink of an early exit.

“We deserved the result and the win record. Ligue 1 is not that easy. It is down to our hard work. We give everything on the field,” skipper Thiago Silva told Canal Plus.

Mbappe was back in the PSG starting line-up after being left on the bench against Marseille last weekend for arriving late for the pre-game team talk, only to come on and score the opener in a 2-0 win.

Marco Verratti also started, despite PSG confirming earlier on Friday that the Italian had been caught drink driving overnight Tuesday to Wednesday on the ring road around the French capital.

“He told me before training on Wednesday. It was on Tuesday night, it is not possible to do that two days before a match. It is not good what he did but it is something for the club to sort out,” Tuchel said, adding that Verratti was “lucky” the incident did not happen closer to the game.

– Cavani absent –

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