Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 Saint-Etienne: Mbappe moves level with Ibrahimovic after brace in comeback win

By Sports Desk February 26, 2022

Kylian Mbappe moved level with Zlatan Ibrahimovic as Paris Saint-Germain's second all-time top goalscorer after he struck a brace in Saturday's 3-1 win over Saint-Etienne.

Mauricio Pochettino's side suffered a 3-1 defeat to Nantes in their previous top-flight game last weekend and they looked like they might be on the end of another surprise loss when Denis Bouanga put the visitors ahead early on.

However, goals either side of half-time from Mbappe – the second of which moved him level with Ibrahimovic on 156 goals – and a third from Danilo Pereira sealed all three points at the Parc des Princes.

The result meant PSG moved 16 points clear at the Ligue 1 summit, while Saint-Etienne remained in 16th, just one point outside the relegation zone. 

Saint-Etienne were rewarded for a bright start in the 16th minute when Bouanga picked Pereira's pocket just outside the penalty area and superbly fired past Gianluigi Donnarumma from 15 yards.

Messi was the provider for PSG's leveller three minutes before half-time, the Argentina international threading a wonderful pass into Mbappe, whose powerful strike from 10 yards proved too hot for Paul Bernardoni to handle.

Those two players combined to devastating effect two minutes after the restart, Messi jinking inside two players before laying the ball into the path of Mbappe, who drilled across Bernardoni to put PSG ahead. 

Pereira made amends for his earlier error with PSG's third in the 52nd minute, the Portuguese rising high at the back post to head home Mbappe's sumptuous cross with the outside of his foot. 

Neymar and Georginio Wijnaldum both struck the post late on, yet it mattered little as PSG comfortably saw proceedings out to return to winning ways with the minimum of fuss. 
 

What does it mean? PSG maintain fine home form

This comeback win means PSG have not lost any of their past 16 home games in Ligue 1, which is the best current run in the league.

The result also stretched their unbeaten run over Saint-Etienne to 26 matches, equalling the longest unbeaten streak in their history against an opponent (also 26 against Angers, which is an ongoing run since December 1976).

Mbappe up to joint second

Mbappe is now level with Monaco's Wissam Ben Yedder at the top of the Ligue 1 scoring charts with 14 goals after his brace here. Barring injury, he will unquestionably move clear of Ibrahimovic in PSG's all-time rankings, yet whether he breaks Edinson Cavani's record of 200 goals for the club depends on whether he moves to Real Madrid at the end of the season.

Messi in generous mood

Goals have been hard to come by for Messi since his move from Barcelona, but he is having no such problems creating them for his team-mates. He has now recorded six assists in Ligue 1 since the turn of the year, which is more than anyone else in the top five European leagues.

What's next?

PSG visit Nice next Saturday, while Saint-Etienne host Metz a day later.

Related items

  • Hojlund form gives Man Utd 'luxury problem' for FA Cup final, says Ten Hag Hojlund form gives Man Utd 'luxury problem' for FA Cup final, says Ten Hag

    Rasmus Hojlund's return to form presents a "luxury problem" for Manchester United ahead of this weekend's FA Cup final against Manchester City, says Erik ten Hag.

    Hojlund came off the bench to score United's second goal as they rounded off their Premier League campaign with a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday, having also netted in last week's 3-2 victory over Newcastle United.

    He finished his debut Premier League season with 10 goals, becoming the youngest player to reach double figures in 2023-24 (21 years, 105 days old as of Sunday).

    Hojlund has battled injury problems and dips in form throughout the campaign, and in his absence, Ten Hag has often opted to deploy Bruno Fernandes as a false nine.

    The Portugal international started United's last two matches in that position, and Ten Hag says he has plenty to think about as he prepares to name his cup final lineup.

    "It is not a dilemma, it is a luxury problem," Ten Hag said.

    "I think both formations can be a success because, as you know, we can play with the set-up from the Etihad, where we were a threat with Bruno's movement in behind.

    "With Rasmus Hojlund in behind and in form, it is absolutely something we have to consider. 

    "Let's have a thought, but let's not say we only need 11 players. In a tough final, you need a bench as well."

    Hojlund failed to score in his first 15 Premier League matches before ending his drought against Aston Villa on Boxing Day, though he did score five times in United's unsuccessful Champions League campaign before Christmas.

    He has 16 goals across all competitions this term, which Ten Hag sees as a good effort when taking his fitness problems into account. 

    "It could always be better, but don't forget he had three injuries this season," Ten Hag said.

    "He came in with an injury and missed the start, then he got injured before winter, and then got another injury after winter. 

    "Every time that has broken his rhythm. If you score 16 goals for a first season, it is okay, and remember it is also not over. We have the final too."

  • Onana willing to take Man Utd criticism 'bullets' Onana willing to take Man Utd criticism 'bullets'

    Andre Onana says he is willing to take criticism "bullets" after a poor Premier League campaign for Manchester United.

    The Red Devils recorded their lowest-ever finish in eighth place, with the manager and players coming under scrutiny for some of their performances.

    One of those singled out was Onana, who joined United from Inter at the start of the season, after an error-strewn start to his life at the club.

    Asked how he deals with the criticism coming from fans, pundits, and former players, Onana said it does not bother him. 

    "For me, I don't pay attention to it. I have come into this team to take bullets because we are under construction – at the moment, we are not the best," he told the Overlap.

    "We have other teams who are doing better than us, and we have to be honest and recognise that. If things and when things are going wrong, don't go for the youngest player – I'm here to take it, Bruno [Fernandes], Casemiro and Harry [Maguire] are there, and we are used to it.

    "When it's people who were sitting where I'm sitting, who won everything, sometimes it's bizarre – we are in the same boat. We try to follow your thing and what you did. For me, I don't mind, but other people may be affected. For me, to be honest, it's just a part of the game."

    United conceded 84 goals in all competitions this season, their worst-ever tally in a single campaign.

    Erik ten Hag’s side also missed out on a European place due to their league finish but have another opportunity to get one if they beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

    Onana is optimistic though as he views the season as a learning curve.

    "I'm happy because we have good people around us, especially at this club, who helped me so much," he added.

    "That's why I'm still smiling - because the first six months were difficult, but at the same time, it was a good moment to learn.

    "After playing the final of the Champions League and the final of the Europa League, you think you are the best – life gives you an opportunity to learn and says, 'You are never too big'.

    "You can have a good season, next year you have a bad season, but the year after an amazing season. The ups and downs and being here, you have to deal with them – especially being a goalkeeper."

  • Liverpool confirm Slot as Klopp's replacement Liverpool confirm Slot as Klopp's replacement

    Liverpool have confirmed Arne Slot will succeed Jurgen Klopp as their new head coach. 

    Klopp's glorious nine-year spell with the Reds came to an end on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Wolves, after which the German sang Slot's name to the Anfield crowd.

    Slot had previously confirmed he would be taking over, and Liverpool have now formally announced the news.

    The Dutchman will officially take charge from June 1, subject to receiving a work permit.

    Slot leaves the Netherlands after three highly successful seasons with Feyenoord, during which he led them to the league title in 2023 and was named Eredivisie Manager of the Year on two occasions.

    More recently, he led the Rotterdam giants to KNVB Cup glory in April, overseeing a 1-0 win over NEC Nijmegen in the final of that competition.

    Feyenoord rounded off their Eredivisie campaign with a 4-0 victory over neighbours Excelsior on Sunday, as they finished second, seven points adrift of runaway champions PSV.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.