Kylian Mbappe enjoyed a topsy-turvy evening in Strasbourg as he missed a penalty, scored his 20th goal of the season and set up the winner in a 2-1 away win that stretches Paris Saint-Germain’s lead at the top of the table.
A dramatic start to the game saw Mbappe’s penalty spectacularly saved by Strasbourg goalkeeper Alaa Bellaarouch, with the Moroccan stopper brilliantly tipping the spot-kick over the bar.
But Bellaarouch’s evening took a calamitous turn for the worse when he delayed a clearing kick, allowing Marco Asensio to block it into the path of an unmarked Mbappe, who slotted into an empty net.
Strasbourg had missed a number of decent opportunities in the first half and were unfortunate to find themselves a goal down at the break. But they were soon two behind after the restart, when Mbappe began a counter-attack with a brilliant back-heel before racing up-field to play a gorgeous cross to Asensio, who finished off a flowing counter-attack move.
Dilane Bakwa’s well-taken volley earned Strasbourg the goal that they deserved and set up a fascinating end to the game, with Patrick Vieira’s young side creating a number of great opportunities to deny PSG the win.
But the league leaders held on and extend the gap at the top of the table to nine points, with their closest rivals yet to play in matchday 20.
TALKING POINT – NOT ALL ROSY FOR PSG
This was an evening that featured the best and worst of Paris Saint-Germain, who produced a counter-attacking goal of the highest quality to make it 2-0, but looked extremely vulnerable at times defensively.
Luis Enrique’s stretched squad will be delighted to return to Paris with all three points, but it was notable how much the level of performance dropped when he opted to rest key players ahead of a busy week of fixtures. The withdrawal of Marquinhos, Ugarte and Kolo Muani were all big gambles, and PSG looked all at sea without that key trio, giving the manager some food for thought no doubt.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – KYLIAN MBAPPE (PSG)
Mbappe was not at his best in this game, drifting in and out of it, particularly during a patchy first half.
But one of the things that makes Mbappe so impressive is how he can impact a game even when not playing well, and he took his goal well to give PSG their half-time lead.
And the Paris second, which turned out to be the difference between the two teams, hinged on the brilliance of Mbappe.
His back-heel to start a counter-attack was class enough on his own, but he showed off his turn of pace to get up with the break again before playing the perfect cross with the outside of his boot to set up Asensio.
Strasbourg had more chances and the better of the opportunities, but moments of quality like Mbappe’s win games.
Strasbourg: Bellaarouch 6, Senaya 5, Perrin 6, Sylla 5, Guilbert 6, Diarra 7, Sissoko 6, Mwanga 7, Angelo 7, Dion 6, Bakwa 7. Subs: Emegha 6, Deminguet 6, Bechikh 6.
PSG: Donnarumma 8, Soler 6, Marquinhos 8, Beraldo 6, Hernandez 6, Zaïre-Emery 7, Ugarte 7, Ruiz 7, Kolo Muani 7, Mbappé 8, Asensio 8. Subs: Vitinha 6, Pereria 6, Mukiele 6.