Using passes from Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris St. Germain defeated 10-man Nantes in Ligue 1.
Following a quick break, Mbappe finished it off with a lovely first goal off a Messi pass into the top corner.
After only 24 minutes, the hosts had Fabio dismissed for tackling Vitinha.
Nuno Mendes then slammed in a third goal, and Mbappe scored from six yards out off a ball from Messi across the box that was first disallowed for offside.
Lionel Messi has assisted Mbappe on ten of his 26 league goals in 2022, more than any other pair in Europe’s top five divisions.
In the meantime, Paris Saint-Germain manager Christophe Galtier has explained why he decided to rest Neymar in the team’s 3-0 win over Nantes on Saturday night.
Despite being in excellent form this season, the Brazilian was not included in Galtier’s starting lineup for the Ligue 1 match against Nantes.
“Every three and then every four days, we play a lot. Everyone is aware that they won’t be able to participate in all of the 95-minute games,” Galtier told French television station Canal+.
“I mentioned it twice. First with each player individually, then with the entire team, to reassure them that their behavior was acceptable and that they needed to adopt the proper attitude.”
Galtier took over as manager at Parc des Princes this summer. Despite having little prior experience with leading star players, the 56-year-old hasn’t shied away from making crucial choices, replacing his offensive trio of Lionel Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar.
The former Lille boss had to hold a meeting last month to clear the air because Neymar and Mbappe had a dispute over who should take penalties.
Galtier and the club’s football advisor Luis Campos met with the pair to rapidly diffuse the situation and institute a shift in the culture of the team.
With their first public fight occurring during the penalty-gate controversy against Montpellier, the star duo’s relationship has deteriorated over the past few months.
Following an agreement that the Frenchman would take the most penalties for the team this season, Mbappe was upset that Neymar had taken a penalty against Montpellier.
Last season, Neymar was the preferred penalty taker, but a deal following Mbappe’s new big contract extension gave the 23-year-old the job.
The Brazilian later “liked” a string of tweets criticizing the club for giving Mbappe penalty kicks despite his worse track record from the spot than Neymar.
Following a busy schedule that will see PSG play every three days up until the international break at the end of the month, the Parisian club will take on Juventus on Tuesday evening in the Champions League. Galtier was keen to stress after the match that it was a question of rotation due to the team’s busy schedule.
With five victories in their first six games, the defending Ligue 1 champions have had a stellar season.
The one blemish was a 1-1 draw against Monaco last weekend at home, but after a lackluster 18 months under Mauricio Pochettino, club officials will be pleased with the start to the season.
PSG has equaled the mark for goals scored at this point of a season in the twenty-first century by a team in Europe’s top five divisions (Manchester City in 2019–20 and Bayern Munich in 2020–21) with 24 goals from their first six games.
With five victories and a draw from six games, defending champions PSG are in first place in Ligue 1.