Paris Saint Germain slam five goals past Auxerre in their last match before FIFA World Cup
Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain enjoyed yet another successful afternoon at home at the Parc des Princes in the French capital on Sunday. As they break for the mid-season World Cup in Qatar, the Parisians crushed visitors Auxerre and secured a dominant 5-0 victory to maintain their position firmly at the top of the table.
PSG took the lead of the contest pretty early on when Argentine sensation Lionel Messi found Nuno Mendes’ run with the perfect lobbed ball. Mendes squared the ball to Kylian Mbappe who had the simple job of firing it home from close range.
The French superstar didn’t make any mistakes and grabbed his 12th goal of the season to top the scoring charts in Ligue 1.
Despite going into the half-time break with just one goal beside their name, PSG completely dominated and were on cruise control throughout the first 45 minutes. With so many players in their squad having the upcoming World Cup in their minds and looking to avoid any injuries and issues, it didn’t come as a surprise that they didn’t look to exert too much energy on the pitch either.
PSG found their second goal of the afternoon through Carlos Soler.
The Spaniard got to the end of a looping cross in the 56th minute and headed home the ball and Mendes deserves a lot of credit for the chance given that he went on a mazy run into the box and dribbled past three players before sending the cross.
Auxerre pressed forward to try to reduce the deficit and PSG duly punished their high line when Achraf Hakimi was released on goal by Soler, with the Morocco international outpacing the last defender and slipping the ball past keeper Benoit Costil before the hour.
With the hosts in cruise control, Galtier unsurprisingly withdrew stars Messi and Neymar, keeping in mind the World Cup on the horizon.
However, Le Parisiens continued to push and saw Renato Sanches scoring the fourth goal in the 81st minute after the opposition goalkeeper kept out Hugo Ekitike’s strike with a brilliant save. Ekitike had the last laugh, though, as he pounced on a weak back pass before beating the keeper for his first PSG goal to complete the rout.
“The afternoon was perfect. I can’t even say ‘almost perfect’, it was perfect,” PSG boss Christophe Galtier told Prime Video.
“We only conceded one chance, we played a serious match. Everyone wanted to play this match, no one was particularly worried about the World Cup.”
PSG are on top of the table with 41 points from 15 matches and have a five point lead over Lens in second place.