Kylian Mbappe and Neymar score while Julian Draxler impresses in tune up win over Lille

Paris Saint-Germain made it 12 wins from 12 in Ligue 1 thanks to second-half goals from Kylian Mbappé and Neymar.
The FC crew feel Gianluigi Buffon’s comments about PSG not being Champions League favourites are a clear deflection.

Paris Saint-Germain stretched their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 11 points with a 12th consecutive win in Le Championnat to become the first club across Europe’s top five leagues to boast that many straight victories at the start of a season.

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar both scored second-half goals, while Nicolas Pepe netted a late consolation effort from the penalty spot, as Thomas Tuchel’s men warmed up for Napoli in the Champions League next week with a sterner domestic test than usual.

Positives

Three more points to extend PSG’s lead at the Ligue 1 summit to 11 points is an obvious plus point, and it comes with a record and required a bit of a fight, so it has other values outside of the obvious.

With Edinson Cavani absent again, Mbappe and Neymar were free to combine, and their blossoming relationship continues to impress as both got on the score sheet and teed each other up.

Otherwise, Tuchel will be pleased with the number of headaches he has ahead of Napoli away, after the likes of Julian Draxler impressed to give him options in previously problematic positions.

Negatives

PSG were made to fight for the three points, but Lille’s good performance and organised nature should not really count as a positive — Les Parisiens needed the test.

Manager rating out of 10

— Tuchel’s starting XI favoured another three-man central defence, which has been his ambition since he arrived, while he preferred Draxler in midfield to Rabiot and both worked out, more or less well. Tuchel also saved all three changes until the end, with Napoli next week in mind.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Gianluigi Buffon, 6 — Unable to keep Pepe’s late penalty out, he was otherwise solid when called upon.

DF Marquinhos, 7 — Looking more at ease with Thiago Silva back as captain, he was part of a three-man defence that kept Lille at bay right until the end.

DF Thiago Silva (c), 7 — A good return to action for the skipper, which puts him in contention for a start in Italy next week.

DF Thilo Kehrer, 6 — A largely composed performance until he conceded the late penalty with an unfortunate handball. He has showed promise, but he logically remains behind Silva, Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe in terms of starting pecking order.

MF Thomas Meunier, 6 — Decent going forward and the author of a few dangerous crosses into the Lille penalty area, it was a good warm-up for Napoli.

MF Marco Verratti, 7 — Although he was booked, it was typical display from the schemer, who could be partnered by Draxler or Rabiot in Naples due to his ability to function well alongside both in the middle.

MF Julian Draxler, 8 — Despite not scoring a goal or provided a direct assist, he was important in the midfield, and he has given Tuchel a real headache ahead of Napoli.

Julian Draxler's strong recent performances could earn him a start in Naples over Adrien Rabiot.
Julian Draxler’s strong recent performances could earn him a start in Naples over Adrien Rabiot.

MF Juan Bernat, 5 — Solid but unspectacular on the left, he got into attacking positions when possible but picked up an early booking, so he had to be careful from then on.

FW Angel Di Maria, 6 — Although he did not match strike partners Mbappe and Neymar with a goal or an assist, he was a consistent creative influence.

FW Kylian Mbappe, 7 — One goal and an assist, it was another big contribution and the perfect way to follow up on his Marseille strike as a substitute. His opener was a sublime finish, and he could have had a second if Mike Maignan had not been so alert in the Lille goal.

FW Neymar, 7 — A goal and a key pass in the build-up to Mbappe’s strike, although not a direct assist. It was decent preparation ahead of Napoli with a big performance required at Stadio San Paolo.

Substitutes

MF Adrien Rabiot, N/R — Sent on at the death to relieve Verratti. Could he find himself a substitute again in Naples?

MF Moussa Diaby, N/R — Could have been given longer than just a few minutes in Bernat’s place, given his good form when utilised.

DF Stanley N’Soki, N/R — Gave Marquinhos a breather at the end and is still in contention for a significant role in Italy.