Mbappe and Cavani score, but 7/10 Draxler the key as PSG thrash Amiens
Paris Saint-Germain returned to Ligue 1 action in 2019 with a 3-0 win away on Saturday at Amiens, reaching 50 Championnat points in record time at Stade de la Licorne.
Edinson Cavani opened the scoring with a second-half penalty before turning provider for Kylian Mbappe. It was left to Marquinhos to finish the scoring as Thomas Tuchel's men eased to victory over their 10-man hosts.
After Wednesday's unexpected home loss to Guingamp and consequent Coupe de la Ligue exit, PSG had to get back to winning ways. Although the result took its time, it eventually arrived, and Tuchel's side can now head to Qatar for their midseason training camp with the setback behind them. A clean sheet is always a plus, as are two from three games across all competitions, in a decent start to 2019. Meanwhile, Cavani scoring one and assisting another should do wonders for his confidence.
Although it was not an attractive opening 45 minutes, PSG eventually hit their stride and picked Amiens apart. The home side losing Khaled Adenon to a red card after 66 minutes helped, but Les Parisiens were much better in the second 45 than they were in the first.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Tuchel went with a logical starting XI, cobbling together a midfield as best he could, and although it was not pretty, his starters and substitutes combined to get the job done.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 6 -- Made one crucial first-half save and was otherwise alert to record his second clean sheet in three outings.
DF Thomas Meunier, 5 -- Still not functioning at maximum capacity, but it was a solid enough showing that contributed to the eventual shutout.
DF Marquinhos, 7 -- Capped a commanding performance with a goal toward the end and continues to show his versatility and maturity under Tuchel.
DF Thiago Silva (c), 6 -- Solid enough at the back, but it was Marquinhos who led the way on the evening.
DF Juan Bernat, 5 -- Played his part in a mean defensive display but didn't have to do anything extraordinary over the 90 minutes.
MF Angel Di Maria, 5 -- Provoked the penalty for Cavani's opener and was an occasional creative threat until he was withdrawn after 70 minutes with job done.
MF Dani Alves, 5 -- Typically energetic but not much more than that, as Tuchel filled holes in his midfield any way he could.
MF Marco Verratti, 6 -- Technically superior when he got on the ball, he drifted in and out of the match before he was taken off with 15 minutes to go.
MF Julian Draxler, 7 -- He stepped up to fill the creative void left by Neymar, and his teammates were happy to follow his lead, which saw him provide for Marquinhos toward the end.
FW Kylian Mbappe, 6 -- Although it remains a slow start to 2019, he took his second-half goal very well and was regularly a target for heavy-handed defensive treatment.
FW Edinson Cavani, 6 -- A goal and an assist after a shaky start must go down as a decent recovery. Furthermore, it gives him something to work with as PSG build toward an important period of the campaign that will require their key men to be at their best.
MF Moussa Diaby, 6 -- Introduced 20 minutes from time, he was bright once again in what appears to be his best role for now.
DF Layvin Kurzawa, NR -- Given another 15 minutes to build up his match fitness, he looks closer to being useful for Tuchel after a lengthy absence.
FW Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, NR -- Handed 10 minutes toward the end in place of Mbappe, he added physical presence but not much else.