Tireless Mbappe sends PSG top with brace at Nimes



Nimes' French defender Patrick Burner (L) vies for the ball with Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe during the French L1 football match between Nimes (NO) and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at the Costieres Stadium in Nimes, southern France, on October 16, 2020.

Kylian Mbappe shrugged off any lingering fatigue to score twice in his second game in 48 hours as Paris Saint-Germain defeated 10-man Nimes 4-0 on Friday to take over top spot in Ligue 1.

The France forward struck the opener on 32 minutes at the Stade des Costieres and netted again late on as a weary Nimes folded following the early dismissal of center-back Loick Landre.

Alessandro Florenzi scored PSG's second on 77 minutes and Pablo Sarabia notched a fourth for the reigning champions as PSG climbed above Rennes on goal difference after a fifth successive win.

"I spoke with Kylian yesterday, he told me that he felt good and that he absolutely wanted to play," said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.

"He's the guy who can always make a difference and he did just that."

New signings Moise Kean and Rafinha made their PSG debuts with a host of players missing following the international break and just four days ahead of the visit of Manchester United in the Champions League.

Ander Herrera, cleared to return after a positive Covid-19 test, drew the first in a series of superb saves from Nimes goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet having replaced the injured Paredes.

But Mbappe gave PSG the lead after he was played through by Rafinha, rounding the advancing Reynet before slotting in his third league goal of the campaign.  

Everton loanee Kean should have added a second but was denied by an alert Reynet, with Idrissa Gueye and Florenzi also testing the Nimes keeper.

Florenzi rattled the post twice in the second half, with a volley and header, but the Italy defender eventually gave PSG room to breathe as he nodded in Sarabia's header back across goal.

Mbappe promptly grabbed his second of the night with another nerveless finish after Sarabia shredded a tiring Nimes defence.

The Spaniard then caught out the hosts from a quickly-taken free-kick to smack in a fourth through the legs of Reynet two minutes from the end. 

Earlier, Rennes extended their unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 season despite drawing 1-1 at bottom side Dijon.

Lille or Lens could overtake PSG and Rennes with victory in Sunday's Derby du Nord, the first such fixture in over five years.

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