Defending champion Paris Saint-Germain enjoyed a comfortable afternoon against a very poor Montpellier, winning 5-0 and extending its lead in the French league on Saturday.
Montpellier, which surprisingly pipped PSG to the 2012 league title, looked unusually sluggish and apathetic at Parc des Princes and slumped to its biggest loss of the season.
After conceding an early goal, the visitor»s fate was sealed in the 18th minute when its goalkeeper received a straight red card for a handball outside the box. Montpellier finished with nine players following Joris Chotard’s dismissal three minutes from time following an awful foul as the teenage midfielder stomped on Presnel Kimpembe’s leg.
Pablo Sarabia scored once and delivered an assist as PSG moved 13 points away from second-placed Marseille, which travels to Bordeaux on Sunday.
Sarabia put the hosts in front in the eighth minute then set up the in-form Angel Di Maria before an own goal from Daniel Congre gave the hosts a 3-0 lead by halftime. PSG remained in control throughout the second half, with France striker Kylian Mbappe and Layvin Kurzawa completed the rout.
Following a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant with a display of the former NBA star’s highlights on a giant screen, the hosts broke the deadlock after Neymar, sporting a pink mohawk, accelerated the pace with a one-two with Angel Di Maria. The Brazil forward tried to get past Montpellier’s defenders but lost his duel with Daniel Congre. Sarabia recovered the ball close to the box and curled it under the crossbar for his 10th goal this season.
Struggling to keep the ball and to get past the midfield line, Montpellier’s fortunes took a turn for the worse when goalkeeper Dimitry Bertaud was sent off after he tried to stop a run from Mbappe outside the area but touched the ball with his elbow. Bertaud was replaced by Matis Carvalho, who was charged with the daunting task of stopping a Neymar free kick in his league debut. Neymar aimed for the top left corner and Carvalho looked beaten but the ball flew wide.
The hosts doubled their lead just before halftime when Sarabia turned provider, setting up Di Maria in the 41st following a quick one-two. Di Maria collected the ball in the box and chipped it over Carvalho with a subtle touch.
Just before halftime, Teji Savanier failed to properly clear a corner, sending it straight into Congre‘s head, with the ball bouncing back into the visitors’ goal.
The only mystery in the second half was how many more PSG would score. Fulltime came to Montpellier as a mercy.
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