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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 25 February 2021

Neymar on target on 100th PSG appearance as Kylian Mbappe scores twice in rout of Montpellier

Mauro Icardi also on target in 4-0 win over 10-man Montpellier

Neymar marked his 100th appearance for Paris Saint-Germain on Friday with one of his side's four goals in a comfortable win over 10-man Montpellier that took Mauricio Pochettino's side clear at the top of Ligue 1.

Fellow front men Kylian Mbappe (2) and Mauro Icardi were also on target as the Parisians moved clear of second-placed Lille, who travel to Rennes on Sunday.

Montpellier's task of containing PSG's array of superstars was made even harder by the sending-off of goalkeeper Jonas Omlin for a foul on Mbappe.

It was PSG's fourth straight win since drawing at Saint-Etienne in Pochettino's first match in charge after the Argentine was appointed as coach on January 2.

The former Tottenham Hotspur boss was back on the Paris bench having spent a week self-isolating following a positive Covid-19 test that forced him to miss his new team's 1-0 win at Angers last weekend.

"I feel good. I am happy to be back," he said.

The attacking quartet of Neymar, Mbappe, Icardi and Angel Di Maria were particularly impressive at an empty Parc des Princes.

Neymar's goal took his tally to 81 in 100 appearances for PSG since his world-record €222 million ($264m) move from Barcelona in August 2017.

His time in Paris has been marred by injuries at important moments but there can be no disputing his impressive record in front of goal as he prepares to face his old club in the last 16 of the Champions League next month.

The Brazilian had to take a backseat to strike partner Mbappe in this game though, with the 22-year-old Frenchman scoring his first goals of the Pochettino era.

"I was already happy with Mbappe's performances before tonight," Pochettino said. "I am pleased that he scored because scoring goals is crucial for a striker's confidence. But we knew it was only a matter of time."

Published: January 23, 2021 08:53 AM

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