Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi combined in superb fashion to fire Paris Saint-Germain to a 3-0 win at AC Ajaccio in Ligue 1 on Friday.
Mbappe scored twice off Messi assists, with the French star repaying the favor by setting up Messi for a goal of his own in between as PSG eventually ran out comfortable winners at the Stade Francois-Coty.
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The victory strengthens PSG’s grip on top spot in Ligue 1, moving them six points clear of second-placed Lorient ahead of the rest of this weekend’s fixtures.
The first 10 minutes were an even affair, with Ajaccio trying to keep the ball and build possession while PSG forwards waited for a chance to attack.
Ajaccio carved out the first chance of the game when Mounaim El Idrissy missed a shot from a difficult angle in the fourth minute.
Ajaccio keeper Benjamin Leroy then denied Messi when he saved a deflected free-kick effort in the 13th minute.
The visitors opened the scoring midway through the first half after Messi played an inch-perfect through ball, allowing Mbappe to open up his body and finish first-time into the far corner of the net. Despite a long check from the Video Assistant Referee for a potential offside, the goal stood.
Mbappe should have doubled PSG’s lead before half-time but inexplicitly missed with the goal at his mercy after Achraf Hakimi laid the ball across the penalty area.
But the miss never looked likely to prove costly for Christophe Galtier’s side.
The second half was mostly uneventful until the last 20 minutes, with Leroy forced into action a few times.
The three points were effectively sealed in the 78th minute. Messi started the move and them combined brilliantly with Mbappe before receiving the ball back and impudently side-stepping the Ajaccio goalkeeper and finishing into the empty net.
Four minutes later the gloss was put on the scoreline when Messi again played through Mbappe, who, despite being off balance, had enough on his shot to find the back of the net.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.