Kylian Mbappé had a goal and an assist as Paris Saint-Germain stretched their lead at the top of Ligue 1 Uber Eats to nine points with a 3-1 victory over closest pursuers RC Lens.
The pressure was on PSG having lost three of their last five games in all competitions – even if their most recent result was a 2-0 win at OGC Nice last Saturday – and they set about settling some nerves early on with Mbappé storming down the left and cutting back for Lionel Messi, whose shot hit Argentine compatriot Facundo Medina in the 13th minute.
Lens had given a fair account of themselves until Salis Abdul Samed was sent off after studding Achraf Hakimi in the 19th minute, but their game was an exercise in damage minimalisation from that point.
Nuno Mendes did his best Messi impression soon after, slaloming through a number of markers before dragging a left-footed effort narrowly wide in the 27th minute, and PSG then took the lead with Mbappé scoring his league-high 20th goal of the season on the turn four minutes later.
Vitinha then got his name on the scoresheet with a long-range drive in the 37th minute before Messi and Mbappé – the only two footballers in TIME’s 10 most influential people list – combined beautifully before Messi finished low into the far corner three minutes later.
Given they were short-handed, Lens did admirably well with Loïs Openda drawing a save from Gigio Donnarumma in the 56th minute soon after the restart.
The visitors then then reduced the scoreline from the penalty spot, Przemyslaw Frankowski sending Donnarumma the wrong way after Fabian Ruiz had handballed in the box at the hour mark.
Openda had another chance on the counter soon after, forcing Donnarumma into a save from a tight angle in the 65th minute. Fabian tried to make some amends for the penalty soon after but failed to get any purchase on a shot from the edge of the box in the 71st minute.
Mbappé then tried to find Brice Samba’s far corner but under-hit his effort 74th minute. Lens kept their heads up and Frankowski might have further reduced the scoreline with a thumping drive, but Donnarumma tipped it over the bar.
Hakimi fired a shot straight at Samba when he should have cut back for Mbappé and it ended 3-1.
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