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No Neymar no problem as Cavani powers PSG

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-06 07:42

PARIS - With Neymar out with an injury, Edinson Cavani picked up the scoring slack and reached a century of goals in Ligue 1 with a brace in Paris Saint-Germain's 5-0 romp at Angers on Saturday.

Neymar, this summer's $264 million signing, sat out the match at Stade Raymond Kopa with a minor thigh problem picked up in the midweek Champions League win over Anderlecht but he was not missed as PSG maintained a four-point lead over Monaco atop Ligue 1.

Kylian Mbappe and Julian Draxler both scored early goals and Cavani netted his 100th in France's top flight on the half-hour mark.

The Uruguayan scored again on the hour before Mbappe grabbed his second of the day to take him to six goals in 12 appearances for PSG.

"For an attacker it is always important to score goals, all the more so when it means you can bring something to your team," said Cavani.

"I am happy, but I don't think too much about records and statistics. I think about giving my best for the team, that's all."

A second straight five-goal victory for PSG means it remains unbeaten in all competitions this season, while Angers is still without a home win.

As well as Neymar, PSG was without Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria, whose partners have both given birth in recent days.

Mbappe turned in a Dani Alves cross from the right in the fourth minute, and it was 2-0 soon after when Alves set up Draxler for a delightful finish.

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The third goal that allowed Cavani to reach his century came at the end of a brilliant move, with Mbappe showcasing his lightning pace as he set up the Uruguayan to blast home.

Cavani, signed from Napoli in 2013, reached the landmark on his 145th Ligue 1 appearance and joins a select club in having scored 100 times in two of Europe's big five leagues, having also achieved the feat in Serie A.

The only others to have done so are Gonzalo Higuain (Spain and Italy) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (France and Italy).

He is also well on course to catch Ibrahimovic as the club's all-time top scorer in the league, with the Swede notching 113 goals in his four seasons.

Cavani hit his 101st - his 13th of this season - in trademark fashion, starting his run in the rightback position and bursting forward to collect a Draxler pass.

Mbappe completed the rout as he rounded goalkeeper Mathieu Michel and scored from a tight angle after being released by Lucas Moura.

Agence France-presse

No Neymar no problem as Cavani powers PSG

(China Daily 11/06/2017 page24)

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