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Neymar, Cavani put PSG on cloud nine

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-28 07:24

PARIS - Edinson Cavani and Neymar were both on target as Paris Saint-Germain edged champion Monaco 2-1 to climb nine points clear atop France's Ligue 1 on Sunday.

But it was a frustrating night in the principality for the world's most expensive teenage soccer player, as Kylian Mbappe missed a raft of chances on his return to the club that will bank $214.8 million when his switch to PSG becomes permanent at the end of the season.

PSG now has 38 points from 14 games and is unbeaten, nine points clear of Lyon and Monaco, with Marseille one further adrift.

"We've won at the champions, that's good," said PSG coach Unai Emery. "Now we have to continue the work and improve further."

Cavani struck the opener, his 16th league goal this season and 22nd in all competitions, when he met a clever cutback from Julian Draxler in the 19th minute and poked it into the top corner.

Neymar had rattled the post and Monaco nerves swiftly after the restart before winning a penalty after Almamy Toure ran into him.

Cavani had promised reporters Neymar would take PSG's next spot-kick after the pair had argued on the pitch over penalty duties earlier in the season.

The Brazilian, who had inspired a 7-1 Champions League thrashing of Celtic in midweek, coolly sent Monaco 'keeper Danijel Subasic the wrong way from the spot in the 52nd minute.

The home side may have sold several of its title-winning stars in the offseason, but Leonardo Jardim's men rallied.

Radamel Falcao, with 13 goals from 10 league starts ahead of this game, managed a fine header when surrounded by four PSG defenders and also fired a freekick narrowly over.

With nine minutes left, veteran Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho pegged Paris back with a freekick that struck Mbappe's head on its way into the corner, but Monaco could not find an equalizer.

"It's difficult against this team with so much quality in it," Monaco midfielder Fabinho told French television.

"It's working very well in midfield with Marco (Verratti) and Draxler," PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot said, after all three impressed.

Earlier on Sunday, Memphis Depay starred with a double as Lyon thumped Nice 5-0 to move into second behind PSG.

Florian Thauvin scored a first-half winner as Marseille stretched its unbeaten run to nine games and stayed just a point off the Champions League places with a 1-0 home win over Guingamp.

Agence France - presse

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