Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 4-0 victory over Dijon on Saturday to re-establish their 13-point lead at the top of Ligue 1.

Spain midfielder Pablo Sarabia opened the scoring early in the game as he netted his ninth goal in all competitions since the start of 2020.

Mbappe added a second after the break with a composed finish before he set up substitute Mauro Icardi at the Parc des Princes.

France international Mbappe then put the gloss on the result in injury time when he tapped in his 18th league goal of the season after Julian Draxler's initial shot had been blocked.

Mauro Icardi's recent form is not concerning to Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel, who is also refusing to get worried about the contracts of key players running down.

Argentina striker Icardi joined PSG on loan from Inter at the start of the season and made a strong impact, swiftly taking Edinson Cavani's place in the starting XI.

He scored nine Ligue 1 goals before the mid-season break, but in recent weeks he has been a little less successful in front of goal.

Prior to netting against Nantes on Tuesday, Icardi had not scored in his past six matches across all competitions, despite two of those outings being against lower-league opposition in Lorient and Pau.

Tuchel remains optimistic about Icardi finding himself again, but hinted such struggles could benefit Cavani, who PSG prevented from leaving in the January transfer window.

"I hope he [Icardi] will regain his rhythm, his confidence and that he will score goals again," Tuchel told reporters on Saturday, ahead of Sunday's Ligue 1 clash with Lyon.

"But he remains an important player and we also see that Edi [Cavani] is also gaining in capacity."

Thomas Meunier and Thiago Silva have played 34 Ligue 1 games between them this season, with Tuchel considering them key components of his back four.

Both have contracts that are due to expire at the end of June, and while Tuchel insists renewals are not in his remit, he reiterated they are seen as vital players.

"I feel the players very confident, very strong," he said. "Thiago is my captain, nothing has changed, it's the same for Thomas.

"I see them as very professional players. Thomas plays a lot, he is super important for us. Both are awesome and I'm glad they're here, I don't think it [the contract situation] bothers [them].

"Contracts are not things that a coach decides. It happens between the agents, the families and the club too. There are several opinions, and for me it doesn't change anything.

"Thiago is my captain, Thomas is my right side right now because he shows that he has the qualities to play."

Tuchel was similarly glowing regarding Pablo Sarabia, who has proven a useful option since joining from Sevilla for a reported €20million.

"He's a guy who does his job well. He is extraordinary, he has the talent to play in our team," Tuchel added. "He is super decisive and brings something different to the team.

"It's good we have players like that. He's important to us and it's good because we need him. A strong team isn't just 11 players. We gained personality with him."

Pablo Sarabia's header 10 minutes from time ensured Paris Saint-Germain did just enough to beat Ligue 2 side Lorient 1-0 and book their place in the last 16 of the Coupe de France.

Thomas Tuchel's men were far from their best at Stade du Moustoir and extra-time appeared to be on the cards, but Sarabia was decisive in the 80th minute to end Lorient's hopes of an upset.

While Tuchel did use the opportunity to rest some of his key players, PSG still had an exceptionally strong starting XI – but they offered very little spark or imagination in the first half, with Lorient actually crafting the best chance.

The contest was more open after half-time, particularly in the final 20 minutes, and Sarabia produced a well-placed header late on to seal the victory, as PSG look to go one better than last season in the competition, having finished runners-up in 2018-19

Although PSG managed eight shots in the first half, there was a distinct lack of goalmouth action and the Parisians struggled to test Paul Nardi in the Lorient goal.

The only major opportunity of the opening 45 minutes fell to the home side just past the half-hour mark – Yoane Wissa heading Jimmy Cabot's cross just wide from close range.

PSG were no more of a creative threat after the interval, with Angel Di Maria, Julian Draxler and Sarabia underwhelming in their attempts to supply Mauro Icardi with good service.

Icardi was finally presented with a chance in the 67th minute, latching on to Sarabia's looping header at the back post, but Nardi just managed to get in the way when the opening goal looked a certainty.

Chances began to flow a little more in the final 15 minutes, as Thiago Silva cut out a potentially goal-bound shot from Vincent Le Goff and Nardi made a fine save to thwart Sarabia.

But the former Sevilla winger was not to be denied soon after, peeling off his marker to head home Silva's delivery.

 

What does it mean? PSG persist but lack of decisiveness a concern

It is not often that PSG struggle to break their opponents down. With a slightly altered supporting cast for Icardi, the Parisians often appeared short of ideas on Sunday. Perhaps it came down to a lack of focus - if so, Tuchel will need to stamp that out quickly if they are to enjoy a successful season across all fronts.

Nardi a safe pair of hands

He perhaps did not come under quite as much pressure as he might have expected, but Nardi still produced a commanding performance in Lorient's goal. His save to deny Icardi in the second half was excellent, while he looked confident when dealing with crosses and high deliveries.

Di Maria disappoints

The most experienced player in PSG's attack on the day, Di Maria certainly cannot be accused of going missing, but very little of what he did was positive. Only one of his seven shots was accurate and he produced a solitary key pass – hardly decisive.

What's next?

Another cup tie awaits PSG, as they go to Reims in the Coupe de la Ligue on Wednesday. Lorient return to league action two days later as the Ligue 2 leaders host Nancy.

Thomas Tuchel praised Paris Saint-Germain for their professionalism and humility in Sunday's 6-0 Coupe de France win over sixth-tier Linas-Montlhery.

Even without star names such as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Mauro Icardi, PSG were expected to run out comprehensive winners and they did not disappoint.

After going into half-time 2-0 up thanks to goals from Adil Aouchiche and Edinson Cavani, the floodgates opened in the second period.

Cavani got another, Pablo Sarabia netted a brace and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting rounded the win off late on, as PSG sailed into the last 32 of the competition, and Tuchel praised their attitude.

"We were serious and very humble," he told reporters after the match. "We deserved to win.

"It was not easy because the opponent played well throughout the match, but we also played well. It was a nice team game. It's a good start for 2020."

Cavani was making only his sixth start of the season across all competitions, having lost his place since the arrival of Icardi, and Tuchel was happy to see the 32-year-old – who is expected to leave at the end of the season – give himself a confidence boost.

"Edi [Cavani] is there to score, this is what we ask of him," Tuchel said. "It gives him confidence, and that's the best thing."

PSG return to action on Wednesday when they host Saint-Etienne in the Couple de la Ligue.

Paris Saint-Germain eased into the last 32 of the Coupe de France thanks to a 6-0 thrashing of sixth-tier side Linas-Montlhery, with Edinson Cavani and Pablo Sarabia scoring two apiece.   Thomas Tuchel rested many of his star players, including Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi, but victory was never in doubt and they secured passage to the next stage with complete comfort.   PSG were dominant almost right from the start and eventually took the lead after half-an-hour through the highly rated Adil Aouchiche and made it 2-0 thanks to Cavani just prior to the interval, having seen Sergio Rico save Idrissa Kanoute's penalty just a few moments early.   Linas-Montlhery noticeably struggled more after the break as they began to tire and PSG added further goals through Cavani, a Sarabia brace and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting as they cruised to a comfortable win.   After seeing several chances go to waste during the early exchanges, PSG finally opened the scoring in the 30th minute – Aouchiche receiving Colin Dagba's cut-back and slotting home confidently after deceiving his marker with a clever turn.   The hosts had a wonderful opportunity for a famous goal 10 minutes later when Dagba tripped Issa Cisse in the box, but Rico saved Kanoute's subsequent spot-kick and PSG capitalised 73 seconds later.   Cavani led a counter and played Julian Draxler into the box, before receiving a return pass back towards the edge of the area and the Uruguayan clinically found the net.   The floodgates opened after half-time.   Cavani doubled his tally with an hour played, converting from close range after Gratien Tsota held on to the ball for too long having intercepted Draxler's throughball, before he teed up Sarabia for an easy finish to make it 4-0 a few minutes later.   Sarabia then got a second in the 69th minute, slamming in from 25 yards after goalkeeper Ali Lutumba had lost his balance.   PSG made it 6-0 late on, Lutumba making a mess of Sarabia's initial effort and Choupo-Moting buried the rebound.

What does it mean? PSG are better than sixth-tier opposition… Who knew?

Matches like this are very difficult to draw conclusions from unless something truly ridiculous occurs. A comfortable win was the very least expected of PSG, and that's what they delivered.

Nevertheless, the hosts can be commended for their performance through parts of the first half, as they probably should have scored at least once.

Aouchiche catches the eye

While Cavani, Draxler and Sarabia all had productive outings, all three are extremely experienced and should be tearing apart opposition of this standard. Aouchiche, on the other hand, is just 17 and was making only his second first-team appearance. The midfielder was lively, looked assured on the ball and got himself a lovely goal. You cannot ask for much more than that.

Kanoute fluffs his lines

It would be unfair to be too critical of any Linas-Montlhery player given the gulf in quality, but Kanoute's penalty was the perfect opportunity to put a bit of pressure on PSG and his effort was poor.

What's next?

PSG are in cup action again on Wednesday, as they host Saint-Etienne in the Coupe de la Ligue.  

Kylian Mbappe scored for a sixth game running as Paris Saint-Germain eased into the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue with a 4-1 win over Ligue 2 side Le Mans at MMArena on Wednesday.

The Ligue 1 champions made eight changes from their 4-0 win over Saint-Etienne on Sunday but proved too strong for Le Mans, who were the last remaining team from outside the top flight in the competition.

Pablo Sarabia, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Mbappe were all on target in the first half for PSG, who added a fourth goal through Angel Di Maria in the 47th minute.

Substitute Harrison Manzala pulled one back for the hosts, but Thomas Tuchel's men - record eight-time winners of the competition - saw things through to make it five wins in a row in all competitions.

Sarabia timed his run well to get on the end of Di Maria's left-sided cross and fire PSG ahead, with Pierre Patron getting two hands to the ball but failing to keep it out.

Le Mans eliminated Nice in the last round but their hopes of causing another upset took a hit when Mbappe squared the ball to Choupo-Moting after being played in by Marco Verratti's quick free-kick.

Mbappe added a third for the visitors 87 seconds later by taking Verratti's pass in his stride, holding off Pierre Lemonnier and beating Patron to extend his scoring run.

Some slack defending and goalkeeping early in the second half gifted PSG a fourth goal, Di Maria's attempt from range squirming through Patron's grasp.

Manzala cut inside and guided a shot away from Sergio Rico to give Le Mans something to celebrate, but it was plain sailing for the Ligue 1 giants in a quiet end to the match.

 

What does it mean? Much-changed PSG cruise through

Marquinhos, Di Maria and Mbappe were the only three survivors from the win over Saint-Etienne at the weekend as PSG boss Tuchel heavily rotated his side.

Despite the mass changes, the visitors eased through and will now be looking to improve on last season's shock quarter-final exit at the hands of eventual runners-up Guingamp.

Verratti at the heart of everything

Verratti caught out Le Mans with his quick thinking for PSG's second goal, which Choupo-Moting rounded off following some unselfish play from Mbappe.

The Ligue 2 strugglers were still coming to terms with that strike when Verratti again showed his quality by picking out Mbappe with a ball over the top for his side's third goal.

Poor performance from Patron

Keeping the likes of Mbappe and Di Maria quiet is difficult on a normal day, never mind when your goalkeeper gifts the opposition a couple of goals. 

Patron was caught out by Sarabia and Di Maria on their goals, making his only two saves of the match in second-half stoppage time.

What's next?

PSG return to Ligue 1 action with a home match against Amiens on Saturday, the same day Le Mans travel to the French capital to face Paris FC in their next Ligue 2 outing.

Thomas Tuchel explained that Neymar trained alone on Friday in order to safeguard his recovery from a hamstring injury, and the Paris Saint-Germain coach confirmed the forward is fit to face Monaco.

The Ligue 1 leaders face 13th-placed Monaco at Stade Louis II on Sunday, and Tuchel said the club has been carefully managing Neymar's fitness in order to ensure his availability.

The Brazil international played the second half of PSG's 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, yet Tuchel opted to keep him isolated from the squad during training.

Explaining why, he told reporters: "Because he felt something in the adductors after the game, we didn't take any risks.

"So he did individual training. That way, we can control it better. Today [Saturday] he trained with us without any problem, I think.

"He's with the team, he can play."

PSG's equaliser against Madrid came from Pablo Sarabia, who score eight minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute in a frantic spell.

Tuchel was pleased to see his €18million pre-season signing from Sevilla among the goals as he explained the challenge facing Sarabia as he adapts to his new, deeper midfield role.

"It's difficult for him to get a job like [he had] at Sevilla," Tuchel said of Sarabia. "At Sevilla, he had a position a little similar to that of Angel Di Maria here, or that of Ney [Neymar] or Kylian [Mbappe].

"He is a key player on the field. We recruited him because he is able to take responsibility, to play 50 or 60 matches per season. But now he has another role.

"He must adapt to our game, to our players. But he has played a lot of matches and he is very important to us because he gives intensity with and without the ball. He has aggression and we lack that in our game.

"He defends well, too. He is reliable and responsible. He has a good influence on our team.

"I'm very happy that it's him who scored [against Madrid] because he always gives everything during training."

Luis Enrique has returned as Spain head coach, replacing Robert Moreno at the helm heading into Euro 2020.

The former Barcelona coach stepped away from his role earlier this year as his young daughter Xana battled bone cancer. She died in August.

Former assistant Moreno took on the job in his place, but Luis Enrique is now back in charge, taking over a Spain team arguably in better shape than the one he left.

Qualification for Euro 2020 is clinched, while Moreno brought in a number of new faces - including members of Spain's successful European Under-21 Championship side.

Luis Enrique would do well to note the progress under Moreno, and we have picked out five breakthrough stars who can have a role to play at next year's finals and beyond.


FABIAN RUIZ

Arguably the outstanding player of that European Under-21 Championship team, Napoli midfielder Fabian had already caught Luis Enrique's attention and was called up in March. It was under Moreno that he established himself, though, making six appearances since his June debut. Fabian idolised Xavi as a child and he looks capable of running the midfield at the Euros.

PABLO SARABIA

Slightly older than some of the new faces at 27, Sarabia was made to wait until after his big move to Paris Saint-Germain in July for a first call-up. It will not be easy to hold down a place at PSG and nor has a fledgling international career been straightforward, but injuries saw Sarabia, an exciting, effective creator, recalled this month and he scored against Malta.

DANI OLMO

Winger Olmo left Barcelona's academy for Dinamo Zagreb in 2014 but, still just 21, looks all the better for the first-team opportunities. He starred for the Under-21s and then scored three minutes into his senior debut. Olmo is already fielding questions on a potential return to Barca and, whether now or in the future, looks set to be a Spain regular.

MIKEL OYARZABAL

Although 22-year-old Oyarzabal had featured once for Spain before Moreno took charge, he never featured under Luis Enrique - earning his sole cap for Vicente del Bosque ahead of Euro 2016, for which he did not make the squad. After a couple of seasons scoring regularly in LaLiga, however, Oyarzabal is back in the mix and opened his international account against Sweden in June.

GERARD MORENO

Sarabia may have been made to wait for senior recognition, but Gerard - also 27 - is a true late bloomer. Uncapped at youth level, the Villarreal striker debuted in October and scored three times across the November international break. Gerard has netted eight goals in LaLiga already this season and will hope to retain his form with the Euros approaching fast.

Santi Cazorla scored his first Spain goal for four years as two debutants also got on the scoresheet in a 7-0 thrashing of Malta in Euro 2020 qualifying on Friday.

The Villarreal veteran struck 41 minutes in after Alvaro Morata had put Robert Moreno's men ahead, before the floodgates opened in the second half at Estadio Ramon de Carranza.

Moreno made seven changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Sweden last time out and handed debuts to Pau Torres and Dani Olmo in the second half, each of whom repaid him with a goal.

A fine strike from Pablo Sarabia, a simple finish for the impressive Gerard Moreno and a late Jesus Navas effort secured a resounding victory in Cadiz for a Spain side who were already assured of their place at next year's finals.

Morata scored his seventh goal in as many games for club and country with 23 minutes gone, bundling a finish beyond goalkeeper Henry Bonello after Gerard Moreno turned a loose ball goalwards.

It was Morata who prevented Spain doubling their lead 27 minutes in, the striker judged to be interfering with play from an offside position when Moreno blasted home the rebound after a brilliant Bonello save denied Sergio Ramos.

Moreno somehow failed to turn Sarabia's cross into an unguarded net, but the second goal did come - and in some style - four minutes before the break. Cazorla gathered Moreno's first-time pass and slotted the ball in off the left-hand post for his first international goal since 2015.

Cazorla went off to a standing ovation eight minutes after the restart as Spain set about securing the result, with only a brilliant clearance off the line from Jonathan Caruana denying Sarabia.

Spain ended the match as a contest with two goals in the space of a minute, Torres chesting the ball in from Paco Alcacer's flick-on from a corner before Sarabia arrowed a left-footed finish into the top-right corner from Moreno's lay-off.

Olmo became the second debutant to get on the scoresheet, rounding the goalkeeper before slotting home after the Malta defence was split by Thiago's pass, and Moreno at last got his goal when he tapped in Juan Bernat's cut-back.

Navas capped a fine outing for Spain with the goal of the game five minutes from time, sending a dipping strike over the stranded Bonello from 25 yards out.

 

What does it mean? Spain's old guard give Moreno food for thought

Raul Albiol, Navas and Cazorla might have a combined age of 101, but they started this game entirely on merit given their club form.

While this was as routine as qualifying matches get, none of the three looked out of place and could all hope to be part of the final squad for next year's tournament.

Marvellous Moreno makes amends for miss

He will likely never know quite how he missed his first-half chance, but Moreno made up for it with three assists and a second-half tap-in in a lively performance down the Spain right.

Bonello bamboozled

His defence did not exactly help him in the second half, but neither did Bonello cover himself in glory, particularly with his positioning for Navas' goal.

What's next?

Spain conclude Euro 2020 qualifying against Romania in Madrid on Monday, when Malta host Norway.

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