METZ, FRANCE (Reuters) – Kylian Mbappe scored a superb goal on his debut for Paris St Germain and Edinson Cavani netted twice as the Ligue 1 leaders stretched their perfect start to five wins with a 5-1 rout of 10-man Metz in an entertaining clash on Friday.
Having moved to PSG from champions Monaco on Aug 31 in a loan deal with the option of making it permanent at the end of the season for a reported fee of 180 million euros (164.12 million pounds) , the 18-year old prodigy made an instant impact.
Mbappe scored PSG’s second with a ferocious low strike from the edge of the penalty area after the home side had left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto harshly sent off early in the second half for a challenge on the French teenage sensation.
Having switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation to accommodate Mbappe alongside Neymar and Julian Draxler behind lone striker Cavani, PSG’s star-studded attack looked crowded more often than free-flowing in the opening 30 minutes.
Playing in a deeper role than he was accustomed to at Monaco, Mbappe looked somewhat subdued as Draxler missed a sitter and Cavani hit the post for the visitors.
However, Cavani showed his lethal touch in the 31st minute when he rounded Metz keeper Eiji Kawashima and fired PSG ahead with a clinical finish after he was put through by Neymar.
The home side equalised out of the blue with their first meaningful move in the 37th minute as Emmanuel Riviere headed home from three metres after a pinpoint cross from the right by Mathieu Dossevi.
Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – FC Metz vs Paris St Germain – Metz, France – September 8, 2017 Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani celebrates scoring their first goal with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
Riviere missed a gilt-edged chance shortly after the break when he fired over an empty net and from there on it all quickly went downhill for Metz.
Assou-Ekotto was given his marching orders for cutting across Mbappe with a two-footed challenge after clearing the ball first and PSG’s acquisition restored his side’s lead shortly afterwards with a trademark piece of individual skill.
Brazilian Neymar, signed by PSG from Barcelona for 222 million euros during the close-season, made it 3-1 with a crisp shot from 20 metres before Cavani grabbed his second of the night and seventh of the campaign.
Substitute Lucas Moura bundled in the fifth in the dying minutes after yet another defence-splitting pass from Neymar.
PSG could have had more but for some fine goalkeeping by Kawashima while livewire Neymar saw a thundering shot cannon off the crossbar.
The result left PSG in the driving seat with a maximum 15 points from five games.
Second-placed champions Monaco, who have 12 points from four games, visit Nice in Saturday’s standout fixture while third-placed Girondins Bordeaux have nine points from five games after a 0-0 draw at Lille earlier on Friday.