Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi scored a goal each as French league leader Paris Saint-Germain profited from a red card to beat second-place Lens 3-1 and move nine points clear of its rival. It was an extra special goal for Mbappe. Earlier this season he became PSG’s all-time leading scorer when he beat Edinson Cavani’s 200-goal mark. Mbappe’s strike on Saturday against Lens made the 24-year-old France striker the outright all-time top scorer for PSG in the league with 139 goals. Cavani netted 138. Overall, Mbappe now counts 203 for PSG. Not to forget, Messi also wrote history when he netted on Saturday. With 495 goals, Messi has the most goals in European top 5 league history.
Marseille can go above Lens with a home win against struggling Troyes on Sunday, with seven games left after this weekend’s round. Lens was in complete control until midfielder Salis Abdul Samed was sent off for a reckless challenge on right back Achraf Hakimi in the 19th minute.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 15, 2023
Mbappe scored his league-leading 20th goal when he took a pass from midfielder Vitinha and turned quickly before hitting a first-time shot into the bottom right corner in the 31st. Vitinha doubled the lead six minutes later with a 25-metre strike into the same corner. Messi then combined in the 40th with Mbappe, who backheeled the ball to the Argentine for a low strike. It was Messi’s 15th league goal.
Lens played better than PSG in the second half, despite being a player down. A handball from PSG midfielder Fabian Ruiz following a corner gave Lens a penalty and Poland winger Przemyslaw Frankowski sent goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma the wrong way in the 60th. Lens’ 15-goal top scorer Los Openda had a shot saved in the 64th and then forced a corner as the visitors kept up the pressure.
,@KMbappe has become Paris Saint-Germain’s sole all-time top scorer in the French top flight, scoring his 1__3__9__th league goal in the 3–1 win over RC Lens at the Parc des Princes.#PSGRCL https://t.co/gz2egw9xuP— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 15, 2023
PSG coach Christophe Galtier has been under pressure after eight defeats this year across all competitions, and this week vehemently denied allegations he had made racist and anti-Muslim comments when he was in charge of Nice last season. The Parc des Princes crowd fell silent as Lens dominated early on, with Samed’s header smartly saved by Donnarumma after just two minutes.
PSG defender Danilo almost scored an embarrassing own-goal when his looping back pass from near halfway surprised Donnarumma in the 10th and bounced just wide. The match turned in PSG’s favor when midfielder Samed lunged at Hakimi and caught his left ankle in a dangerous tackle. Also Saturday, Rennes beat Reims 3-0 to move one point above Lille and into fifth place. Belgium winger Jremy Doku scored twice for Rennes inside the first 20 minutes
With inputs from PTI