Paris (AFP) – The injured Neymar was left at home as Edinson Cavani reached a century of goals in Ligue 1 with a brace in Paris Saint-Germain’s 5-0 romp away to Angers on Saturday.
The world’s most expensive player sat out the game at the Stade Raymond Kopa with a minor thigh problem picked up in the midweek Champions League win over Anderlecht but he was not missed as PSG went provisionally seven points clear at the top of the table from Monaco.
Kylian Mbappe and Julian Draxler both scored early goals and Cavani netted his 100th in France’s top flight on the half-hour mark.
The Uruguayan scored again on the hour mark before Mbappe grabbed his second of the day late on to take him to six goals in 12 appearances for the club.
A second successive five-goal victory for PSG means they remain unbeaten in all competitions this season, while Angers are still without a win at home.
As well as Neymar, PSG were without Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria, whose partners have both given birth in recent days. Coach Unai Emery therefore opted to give a first start since August to Javier Pastore.
PSG’s opener arrived inside five minutes as Mbappe turned in a Dani Alves cross from the right, and it was 2-0 before quarter of an hour had been played.
Again Alves was the provider with a delightful through ball for Draxler, who beat Mathieu Michel with a clipped first-time finish.
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The third goal that allowed Cavani to reach his century came at the end of a brilliant move, with Alves finding Adrien Rabiot, who released Mbappe to showcase his lightning pace and set up Cavani to blast home.
Cavani, signed from Napoli in 2013, reached the landmark on his 145th Ligue 1 appearance and joins a select club in having scored 100 times in two of Europe’s big five leagues having also achieved the feat in Serie A.
The only others to have done so are Gonzalo Higuain (Spain and Italy) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (France and Italy).
He is also well on course to catch Ibrahimovic as the club’s all-time top scorer in the league, with the Swede hitting 113 in his four seasons with the club.
Cavani hit his 101st — his 13th of this season — in trademark fashion, starting his run in the right-back position and bursting forward to collect a Draxler pass before toe-poking home.
Mbappe completed the rout as he rounded Michel and scored from a tight angle after being released by Lucas Moura.
Reigning champions Monaco can close back to within four points of PSG at the summit with a win at home to Guingamp later (1900 GMT).
Claudio Ranieri’s Nantes host Toulouse looking for a win that will take them back up to third above Lyon, who go to derby rivals Saint-Etienne on Sunday.
Sunday also sees Marseille host Caen in what could be a tense atmosphere in their first outing since Patrice Evra was suspended by the club for aiming a karate kick at the head of one of his team’s own supporters.
Evra was red-carded after the incident, which occurred in the pre-match warm-up before Thursday’s Europa League clash with Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal.
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