Tuesday, January 22, 2019 | ePaper
Mbappe, Neymar steer PSG to new win record on troubled day
AFP, Paris :
PSG's Neymar shots to score his sideâ€™s second goal during the League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Lille at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on Friday.
Kylian Mbappe and Neymar scored late goals to give Paris Saint-Germain a 2-1 win over nearest challengers Lille on Friday as the French champions extended to 12 games their perfect start to the season at the end of a troubled day for the club.
The Qatari-owned club were forced to release a statement shortly before kick-off to deny allegations made by a Football Leaks investigation that they had worked with UEFA to cover up breaches of their Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
However Mbappe restored smiles at the Parc des Princes with a magnificent strike from just outside the box 20 minutes from time, and Neymar gave PSG a two-goal buffer before Nicolas Pepe pulled one back for the away side from the penalty spot.
PSG extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 11 points after a 12th straight league win that means they have now beaten Tottenham Hotspur's old record for consecutive wins at the start of a season.
Spurs emerged victorious from their opening 11 matches in their double-winning 1960-61 season, a performance that had stood since as a record in Europe's so-called big five leagues - Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France.
The result is a boost for PSG ahead of their crucial Champions League trip to Italy to face Napoli next Tuesday, when a defeat could leave Thomas Tuchel's side on the brink of an early exit.
"We deserved the result and the win record. Ligue 1 is not that easy. It is down to our hard work. We give everything on the field," skipper Thiago Silva told Canal Plus.
Mbappe was back in the PSG starting line-up after being left on the bench against Marseille last weekend for arriving late for the pre-game team talk, only to come on and score the opener in a 2-0 win.
Marco Verratti also started, despite PSG confirming earlier on Friday that the Italian had been caught drink driving overnight Tuesday to Wednesday on the ring road around the French capital.