Paris St Germain climbed to the top of Ligue 1 after goals from Lee Kang-in, Warren Zaire-Emery and Vitinha secured a 3-0 win over Montpellier.

PSG dominated proceedings at the Parc des Princes as they registered a fifth straight victory in all competitions.

It was also a vastly improved display from Luis Enrique’s side following their scratchy 3-2 win over Brest last weekend.

They will be top until Sunday at least, when Nice get the chance to move back to the summit when they host Rennes.

PSG burst into life in the ninth minute when Achraf Hakimi overlapped down the right and squared the ball into the area.

Kylian Mbappe let the ball run between his legs and South Korea forward Lee took a touch before lashing his shot into the top corner from 15 yards.

Montpellier’s cause was not helped when defender Issiaga Sylla limped out of the action after only 20 minutes.

Ousmane Dembele almost doubled the lead when he outstripped substitute Theo Sainte-Luce but his angled drive was well saved by Benjamin Lecomte.

From the corner, Mbappe met a headed clearance with a volley which flew narrowly wide.

In first-half stoppage time another sweeping move saw Lee and Mbappe combine to tee up Dembele but his shot was deflected over by Sainte-Luce.

After the break Zaire-Emery waltzed into the Montpellier area only to place his effort straight at Lecomte.

The visiting keeper then palmed away a fierce drive from Hakimi with Dembele unable to convert the rebound.

The second goal arrived in the 58th minute, and it was another spectacular strike.

Zaire-Emery, still only 17, played in Dembele and continued his run into the area, collecting a clever backheel from his team-mate and thumping the finish past Lecomte.

Substitute Vitinha added the third eight minutes later, sweeping Hakimi’s pull-back from the byline past Lecomte from the edge of the box.

Mbappe, for once overshadowed by his goalscoring team-mates, tried to get in on the act but his drive from 20 yards flew over the crossbar.

The busy Lecomte had to be on his toes to prevent another sub, Fabian Ruiz, adding his name to the scoresheet with a fine save low to his right as PSG were forced to settle for three.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has warned that no club is immune from the sort of crisis that has enveloped rivals Manchester United in recent weeks.

City cruised to a 3-0 derby win at Old Trafford last Sunday, and the pressure on Erik ten Hag was then ramped up further after a 3-0 home loss to Newcastle in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday made it eight defeats from their opening 15 games in all competitions.

Guardiola’s side appeared in complete control of the derby as Erling Haaland scored a first-half penalty and then doubled City’s lead just four minutes into the second half, later teeing up Phil Foden to complete the scoring.

But the 52-year-old insisted the win had not been as straightforward as many thought.

“It was not easy,” Guardiola said. “It helped us to score the second goal early (in the second half) and then we had control but it’s never easy. I have a lot of respect for Manchester United.

“The period they have now, we can have it. Nobody is away from these kind of situations. We won the game but that’s all.”

Having been knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Newcastle in September, City had a rare midweek off this week, which allowed a large delegation to travel to Paris for Monday’s Ballon d’Or ceremony, where they had seven players shortlisted after last season’s treble-winning heroics.

Haaland was beaten to the main prize by Lionel Messi but took the Gerd Muller trophy as the main striker, while City were named club of the year.

Asked if Haaland had been frustrated to miss out on the Ballon d’Or itself, Guardiola said: “I saw him so happy to be a contender, close to Messi, (Kylian) Mbappe and the rest. It was a good night for Manchester City.

“Big congratulations for Messi. Manchester City was there, it is so important because we have not been there many times. We were important there. (Haaland) has all his career ahead of him so he has to see it as a challenge and think he can be back there next year if he helps the team.”

Since returning to Manchester focus has shifted to Saturday’s match against Bournemouth, an opportunity for City to go top, at least temporarily, with Arsenal at Newcastle later in the day and current leaders Tottenham not in action until they face Chelsea on Monday night.

City start the weekend two points off the summit but Guardiola is not worrying about the table at this early stage of the campaign.

“Every season is tougher from when I arrived,” he said. “Better managers, better teams, but this is the challenge,” he said. “What is important is we are still there after 10 games. There are still 28 to play and there is a lot to happen, but the way we are playing we are getting better.”

The Cherries ended their long wait for a first Premier League win of the season with victory over Burnley last weekend and Guardiola said he enjoyed the style of Andoni Iraola’s side and the way they approached Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie at home to Liverpool, a 2-1 defeat.

“Of course always after the win they are confident,” Guardiola said. “They competed really well against Liverpool. Andoni is an incredibly well-respected manager in Spain playing in an offensive style. They don’t sit back.

“In Spain he is one of the youngest managers and joining the Premier League is an incredible success. Hopefully he will continue with a good performance.”

Jan Vertonghen does not believe there will be two players who dominate the Ballon d'Or during the next decade in the way Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have done.

Messi scooped his record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or on Monday in Paris.

The 36-year-old led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar last year, and also enjoyed a fine individual season with Paris Saint-Germain.

This Ballon d'Or will almost certainly be Messi's last. Since 2008, he or Ronaldo have won every edition of the award bar two, with Luka Modric taking it in 2018 and Karim Benzema in 2022.

Messi finished ahead of Erling Haaland – who scored 52 goals in his first season at Manchester City – and his former club-mate Kylian Mbappe, who played a direct part in 50 goals in all competitions for PSG and was the World Cup's leading scorer.

While Haaland and Mbappe have been tipped to fight it out for the award over the next decade, former Tottenham and Ajax defender Vertonghen thinks the days of two players dominating are over.

"I don't think it's going to be two guys dominating for the next 15 years," Vertonghen, an Athlete Partner for APEX, told Stats Perform.

"There are a lot of massive talents. Obviously, you've got Haaland and Mbappe already there for a couple of years, but then if you look at [Jude] Bellingham, what he's doing now, [Jamal] Musiala, I love him, Phil Foden, Vinicius [Junior].

"Those are the young guys. I hope one day a defender or even a goalkeeper [can win]. Thibaut Courtois was very close the year [Real Madrid] won the Champions League.

"I'm probably forgetting 10 or 15 more names. With Belgium, we have a great couple of young guys. There's so many, and I hope one day it could go to a Belgian one."

Bellingham enjoyed a strong season with Borussia Dortmund, though has taken his play up to an elite level since his move to Real Madrid.

The England midfielder finished 18th in the overall voting, with Bayern Munich star Jamal Musiala coming in 26th, 20 places behind Vinicius.

Kevin De Bruyne came fourth in the vote, and Vertonghen enthused over his compatriot's quality.

"Kevin, his passing ability is the one that stands out - you know that he is known for his assists and his vision, but he understands the game so well," he said.

"He knows how to use the space, where to run, he is very, very good in pressing which is something you don't really think of when you think of him, you think of assists, vision, scoring goals, but the way he is able to understand how a team builds up, he's just a genius of the pitch.

"Whenever I played against him with Tottenham, we would always try to build up on the other side because he's the one that will get the team going."

Paris St Germain claimed a 3-0 victory over AC Milan in the Champions League to go top of Group F.

The Parisians bounced back from their 4-1 defeat to Newcastle earlier this month with strikes from Kylian Mbappe, Randal Kolo Muani and Lee Kang-in.

Barcelona moved a step closer to reaching the knockout stages after a 2-1 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Goals from Ferran Torres and Fermin Lopez made it three wins from three for Xavi’s side.

Newcastle’s campaign took a setback after a 1-0 defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund, with Felix Nmecha’s effort enough for the Germans to take all three points.

It was a better night for holders Manchester City as they overcame Young Boys 3-1 courtesy of an Erling Haaland double in Switzerland.

Haaland converted a second-half penalty and scored late on after Manuel Akanji’s opener had been cancelled out by Meschack Elia’s superb finish.

Celtic twice lost the lead but picked up their first Champions League point in a 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park.

Kyogo Furuhashi got the hosts off to a flying start with his second goal in two Champions League games and Luis Palma quickly restored the lead after Antoine Griezmann had equalised from the rebound of his own saved penalty.

Celtic were deservedly on course for a first Champions League group-stage home win in 10 years following a first-half display full of pace and purpose but they started slowly after the break and Alvaro Morata levelled inside eight minutes of the restart.

The Scottish champions never rediscovered their spark – even after Atletico had Rodrigo Paul sent off in the 82nd minute – and their run without a home win at this level is now at 12 games.

Santiago Gimenez helped Feyenoord to a 3-1 win over Lazio.

The Mexican scored twice during a convincing win at De Kuip.

Evanilson scored a second-half hat-trick as Porto clinched a dominant 4-1 win over Antwerp and RB Leipzig’s 3-1 victory over Red Star Belgrade gave them a five-point advantage over third-placed Young Boys in Group G.

Kylian Mbappe and 17-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery starred to help Paris St Germain get their Champions League campaign back on track with a 3-0 win over AC Milan.

The Ligue 1 champions had been humiliated by Newcastle with a 4-1 loss at St James’ Park before the international break, but a second victory in Group F sent them to first position with six points after dismantling last season’s semi-finalists.

Mbappe opened the scoring after collecting Zaire-Emery’s pass before Randal Kolo Muani made it 2-0 at the start of the second half.

There was still time for a flourish in Paris with Zaire-Emery again showing his class with a second assist to set up Lee Kang-in late on.

PSG’s success coupled with Newcastle’s loss at home to Borussia Dortmund has further changed the complexion of the group with Milan bottom on two points ahead of welcoming the French outfit to the San Siro in a fortnight.

Luis Enrique had rested Achraf Hakimi, Milan Skriniar, Ousmane Dembele and Kolo Muani for their weekend win over Strasbourg, but recalled his big guns in an effort to help PSG regain control of Group F.

It was visiting Milan who dominated possession in the opening exchanges and Rafael Leao fired wide from Christian Pulisic’s quick corner.

Yellow cards were also frequent with Malick Thiaw, who was sent off in Milan’s loss at home to Juventus on Sunday, booked for a foul on Kolo Muani after only four minutes.

Mbappe’s involvement during the first quarter of an hour had been minimal, but the PSG talisman signalled his intentions with a snapshot straight at Mike Maignan in the 22nd minute.

Soon after Mbappe sent another effort wide from range before the breakthrough did occur with the World Cup winner able to provide the opener after 32 minutes.

Zaire-Emery was at the heart of the goal with the 17-year-old able to impressively hold off Tijjani Reijnders before he passed into Mbappe, who squared up Fikayo Tomori and then curled into the bottom corner in a flash for his 10th goal of the campaign.

It was the moment of magic the anxious Parc des Princes crowd wanted but no further goals were forthcoming before the break after PSG had penalty appeals waved away following a tangle between Mbappe and the already-booked Thiaw in the area.

The hosts did have the ball in the net three minutes into the second half when Dembele appeared to open his account for the club, but VAR awarded a foul for Manuel Ugarte’s cynical tackle on Rade Krunic in the build-up.

Milan threatened moments later but Olivier Giroud could only fire into the side-netting from Pulisic’s centre and the second did arrive in the 53rd minute for PSG.

Mbappe’s quick thinking saw the French attacker take a quick corner into the path of Dembele, who had a low shot parried out by Maignan to Kolo Muani and he made no mistake from close range.

While Leao continued to carry Milan’s attacking threat, their race was run and only a stunning finger-tip stop from Maignan to deny Mbappe prevented PSG making it 3-0.

It would prove brief respite with Luis Enrique’s team adding a third after 89 minutes when teenager Zaire-Emery raced down the right and squared for substitute Lee to curl into the bottom corner to help PSG leapfrog Newcastle to move top of Group F.

Luis Enrique says Paris St Germain face a tougher task on their Ligue 1 return against Strasbourg than they will playing AC Milan in the Champions League four days later.

PSG return to action after the international break on Saturday behind top two Monaco and Nice, and with former France midfielder Patrick Vieira in the Strasbourg dug out at the Parc des Princes.

“As a player, I experienced it for years when I played for Real Madrid and Barcelona, then I experienced it as a coach at Barça and now at Paris St Germain,” head coach Enrique said ahead of side’s contest with 11th-placed Strasbourg.

“When players are in the national team, they are always very excited. That’s logical and normal, and I accept it.

“After that, it depends on the match that follows, the opponent. It can be more or less motivating.

“When you’re part of a great team, you have to be able to play even when you’re not optimally motivated.

“It’s not an easy thing to do, especially with these breaks where the first match back is a league game and the next a Champions League match, like the one against Milan, where the motivation will be high.”

PSG must revive their Champions League campaign on Wednesday after losing 4-1 at Newcastle. They beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at home in their opening match.

The Ligue 1 champions have stuttered domestically with a home defeat to Nice and three draws in their eight games, although PSG did win 3-1 at Rennes before the international break.

Enrique said: “It would be a mistake to think that the match against Strasbourg will be easy. It’s a much tougher match than the one against Milan.

“For Milan, I’ll have to calm the players down. Whereas on Saturday, I’m going to have to motivate them, get them excited.

“That’s why this match against Strasbourg involves a lot more problems for me, with a very young opposition, super-motivated and coached by a very good coach.

“The first thing to do after a two-week break is to get the players back into the swing of things at the club.

“It’s going to be a special week because there are three matches.”

Kylian Mbappe has not scored for PSG since converting from the penalty spot against Dortmund on September 19.

The four-game run is the longest Mbappe has gone without a goal for the club in five years.

Liam Kelly reflected on the “best moment” of his life after eventually making his Scotland debut in the 4-1 defeat by France in Lille on Tuesday night.

The 27-year-old Motherwell goalkeeper was first called up to the senior squad four years ago and had to patiently await his chance, which came when Steve Clarke rested number one Angus Gunn and started with Kelly before bringing on Hearts keeper and fellow debutant Zander Clark at the interval.

It was a sore night for the Scots however, despite taking an early lead through Billy Gilmour’s first goal in senior football.

France defender Benjamin Pavard scored twice with headers as a star-studded home side fought back.

Skipper Kylian Mbappe added a third from the spot before the break and substitute Kingsley Coman hammered a fourth past Clark in the 70th minute to seal a convincing friendly win for the superior hosts.

“The best moment of your life, isn’t it?” said Kelly when asked about his first appearance for his country.

“I played for every age group with Scotland up until now and I have been in a lot of squads along with big Zander so I was just delighted to get that moment eventually.

“I’m so grateful to the manager to get that chance and I am delighted for big Zander as well because we have been in this together from the start.

“During the game you can’t think about anything else or else you get punished, so maybe now and over the next few days it will start to sink in a wee bit but yes, the best moment of your life playing for your country.

“Me and Zander have been in the squad a long time, you take any chance you can get.

“As I said I am really grateful to the manager to give me that chance.

“He didn’t have to do it, he could have played big Angus again so I am over the moon and thankful he gave me that opportunity.

“I think I done OK in the game so it all went to plan, apart from the scoreline.”

Clark, 31, was similarly delighted to make his debut as replacement for long-time buddy Kelly.

He said: “As a kid you always dream of that moment and it was a great feeling and a special occasion as well.

“I am buzzing for Liam as well, I have known him since we were kids and a lot of hard work has gone into it.

“For us to get the first on the same night is a special moment.

“It was tough, they had stars all over the place.

“But we had good spells and a great finish by Billy and it was unfortunate to come away with such a heavy defeat but pleased with the effort we put in.”

Steve Clarke has told his Scotland players to “stop this run” of defeats next month after losing 4-1 to France in Lille.

The Scots went into the friendly knowing they had qualified for the 2024 European Championships after Spain beat Norway at the weekend to ensure a top-two finish in Group A.

Scotland had lost 2-0 to Spain last week on the back of a 3-1 loss to England at Hampden Park in the 150th Heritage Anniversary match and the French were even classier.

Clarke made eight changes from Seville – goalkeepers Liam Kelly and Zander Clark played a half each on their debuts.

Scotland stunned the home side when midfielder Billy Gilmour guided in the opener after 11 minutes – his first ever senior goal.

However, France defender Benjamin Pavard scored two headers, skipper Kylian Mbappe added a third from the spot before the break after a VAR intervention saw referee Tobias Stieler judge Scotland defender Liam Cooper had held Olivier Giroud and substitute Kingsley Coman hammered in a fourth.

After victory in their first five Euro qualifiers, Scotland have lost three in a row and Clarke wants to get that winning feeling back in the final two qualifiers against Georgia next month before the final game against Norway.

He said: “We can take away the memory of the qualification but we lost two games in the camp.

“We don’t like losing. I don’t want them to be comfortable losing or happy to lose.

“We spoke about that after the game. It is important we set our standards higher than that.

“We have lost three in a row now and I have asked them to make sure that when we got to Georgia that we stop this run.

“We want to finish on the same points as Spain so the target is to finish with 21 point which will make it a good campaign.”

Clarke, who was “happy” with his team selection, acknowledged the superiority of the home side.

He said: “I thought we started the game really well, the first 15 minute was good and we got ourselves in front.

“To concede a goal from a corner was disappointing because we know France can score from open play and we try not to give goals away from set plays.

“The third goal – I don’t think VAR should have got involved in the decision, it was soft and when the referee goes there he has to be strong to stick with his original decision.

“Both players were at it and that takes the game away from us.

“The second half was OK but France are always a threat with their pace and power and quality.

“So lots to learn, lots to improve. We know we are not at that level yet.

“It is level we are going to strive to get to and the harder we strive the better team we will be.”

After sealing qualification to Euro 2024 with a 2-1 win over the Netherlands on Friday, France boss Didier Deschamps was happy to finish the camp off with a convincing win

He said: “It was a very good week, When you win you are always happy.

“The most important thing was against the Netherlands on Friday night and the fact that we have shown so much quality tonight as well, it is a great satisfaction for us.

“We created lots of chances against a team that can defend pretty well and has a lot of qualities. So we are very happy.”

Scotland gave France an early fright before suffering a chastening 4-1 loss to their classy hosts in Lille.

The Scots went into the friendly knowing they had qualified for the 2024 European Championships at the weekend after Spain beat Norway to ensure Steve Clarke’s side a top-two finish in Group A.

Clarke took the opportunity to utilise his squad, giving a debut to Liam Kelly among eight changes from last week’s game in Seville and they stunned the home side when midfielder Billy Gilmour guided in the opener after 11 minutes – his first ever senior goal.

However, France defender Benjamin Pavard scored twice with headers by way of a rapid response and skipper Kylian Mbappe added a third from the spot before the break.

Substitute Kingsley Coman hammered in a fourth in the 70th minute to seal a commanding win for the superior home side.

After winning their first five Euro qualifiers, Scotland have lost three games in a row and Clarke will want to get that winning feeling back in the final two qualifiers against Georgia and Norway next month.

In addition to Kelly’s introduction to international football in The Decathlon Arena Stade Pierre Mauroy, Clarke also brought in defenders Nathan Patterson, Greg Taylor and Liam Cooper, midfielders Kenny McLean, Gilmour and Lewis Ferguson and striker Che Adams.

It was always going to be a tough test against Les Blues, who qualified comfortably for Euro 2024 by winning their first six qualifiers.

Boss Didier Deschamps also freshened his side up from the 2-1 win over the Netherlands last Friday.

Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann kept their places while Ousmane Dembele and all-time leading scorer Olivier Giroud came back into the side.

The kick-off was delayed for around 10 minutes due to the long queues at the stadium amid extra security measures put in place after two Swedish nationals were shot dead in Brussels the previous evening.

There was a minute’s silence before the game to commemorate that incident and it was a low-key start to the game on a pitch still showing markings from its use in the Rugby World Cup, before the Scots took an unexpected lead.

France defender Eduardo Camavinga cut out a pass from Gilmour inside the box but with a poor touch gave it straight back to the unmarked Brighton midfielder, who curled the ball low past goalkeeper Mike Maignan.

However, there was little time for the Tartan Army to enjoy the landmark goal as a Griezmann corner from the left five minutes later was all too easily glanced past Kelly by Inter Milan centre-back Pavard.

A refocused France side took control of the game and Mbappe skipped past Jack Hendry before crossing for Pavard again to head past Kelly from close range.

The visitors were struggling to get up the pitch and in the 40th minute France were awarded a penalty after referee Tobias Stieler went pitchside at the behest of VAR and judged Cooper had held Giroud inside the penalty area, with Mbappe stepping up to send the penalty past the diving Kelly, who got close but not close enough.

The Motherwell keeper did not look great moments later when he fumbled a shot from Dembele but the lurking Mbappe could not capitalise.

Hearts keeper Zander Clark replaced Kelly at the start of the second half to make his debut and Jacob Brown and John Souttar would take over from Adams and Cooper. Giroud and Dembele made way for Marcus Thuram and Coman and in the 70th minute the latter thrashed a shot high past Clark after Griezmann had volleyed against the bar.

A low drive from Brown in a rare Scotland attack was pushed past the post by Maignan and the corner came to nothing before Ryan Christie and Stuart Armstrong came on for Gilmour and McLean.

Thuram rattled Clark’s crossbar with a drive and at the other Maignan made saves from Armstrong’s volley and Brown’s header but the game was already well gone for Scotland.

Kylian Mbappe scored twice, including a stunning strike from just outside the box, as France beat the Netherlands 2-0 in Amsterdam to secure Euro 2024 qualification.

After putting Les Bleus ahead with a seventh-minute finish, Mbappe added a breathtaking second eight minutes into the second half, exchanging passes with Adrien Rabiot and sending a curling shot over Bart Verbruggen and into the top corner.

Quilindschy Hartman reduced the deficit with seven minutes of normal time remaining.

The result extended France’s perfect record in Group B to a sixth victory as they rubber-stamped their place in next summer’s finals in Germany with two fixtures to spare.

Their opponents dropped from second to third, replaced by Greece – who won 2-0 against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

Georgios Giakoumakis and Georgios Masouras scored in the first half as Ireland’s chances of automatic qualification officially came to an end.

Greece are now three points clear of the Netherlands, who have a game in hand.

In Group F, Belgium sealed progress to the finals with a 3-2 win away against second-placed Austria.

The visitors appeared to be cruising after Dodi Lukebakio’s double and a Romelu Lukaku effort had them three goals up before the hour mark.

Things then became less comfortable as Konrad Laimer pulled a goal back in the 72nd minute, Belgium were reduced to 10 men by a red card for Amadou Onana six minutes later, and Marcel Sabitzer scored an 84th-minute penalty – but Domenico Tedesco’s side managed to see out the win.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan registered their first win in the group as they beat Estonia 2-0 in Tallinn.

Portugal also completed the job of qualification via a 3-2 victory as they defeated Slovakia in Porto, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice.

Goncalo Ramos and a Ronaldo penalty had the hosts two goals up at half-time, and after David Hancko’s reply, Ronaldo made it 3-1 in the 72nd minute with his 125th international goal.

Stanislav Lobotka netted a second for Slovakia, who are second behind Portugal in Group J.

Friday’s other matches in the pool saw Iceland and Luxembourg draw 1-1 in Reykjavik and Bosnia and Herzegovina win 2-0 in Liechtenstein.

Luis Enrique has vowed to get the best out of superstar Kylian Mbappe as he attempts to address Paris St Germain’s stuttering form.

The Ligue 1 champions return to domestic action at Rennes on Sunday still smarting from their 4-1 Champions League drubbing at Newcastle on Wednesday evening, during which Mbappe cut a frustrated figure.

However speaking at his pre-match press conference, PSG boss Enrique dismissed concerns over the striker’s fitness – he limped out of the 4-0 win over Marseille a fortnight ago with an ankle injury, but has started the two games since – and backed him to return to his best form.

He said: “Kylian is 100 per cent. Like all players, his fitness varies throughout the season. Not everything can be black and white.

“He’s a decisive player for us and my aim as coach is to make the most of his qualities.”

Like Mbappe, summer signing Ousmane Dembele made little impact at St James’ Park, but Enrique called for patience with the former Barcelona star as he adapts to his new surroundings.

He said: “I’m very happy with Ousmane’s work so far. I don’t think we need to put any particular pressure on him.

“The first person to blame when things aren’t going well is the coach. My real objective is to attack with 11 attackers and defend with 11 defenders.

“Ousmane Dembele plays on the flanks but he can also come into the middle to provide support. He’s an ideal player for my playing philosophy, with the ability to unbalance opponents. I’m happy with his attitude and his performances.”

PSG headed into the weekend sitting in fifth place in the table, two points behind early leaders Monaco, but having won only four of their nine games in all competitions to date to leave Enrique himself in the firing line.

However, the Spaniard remained defiant in the wake of intense criticism of his side’s performance at Newcastle.

He said: “My job is to find the best way to achieve the best possible results. In any case, I have every confidence in my players and my staff going forward.”

Rennes, who lost for the first time this season when they went down 1-0 at Villarreal in the Europa League on Thursday evening, have frustrated PSG in recent seasons, completing a league double over them last season.

The Parisians have not returned from Rennes with all three points since September 2018 and have managed just a single draw in their last four visits.

Enrique said: “Rennes are undoubtedly one of the best teams in the league. Historically, they’re a club that we’ve had some difficulty facing, especially when we play them away.

“They have some very interesting attacking systems, with some very strong individual attacking players.”

The sight of a bloodied and bandaged Alexander Isak scrapping with Paris St Germain’s defence signalled a new step in his blossoming career for Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.

Isak rekindled memories of Magpies warhorse Alan Shearer during Wednesday night’s 4-1 Champions League demolition of the French champions when – after he had been left bleeding in a clash of heads with full-back Lucas Hernandez – he picked himself up and redoubled his efforts to spearhead the attack once again.

Head coach Howe was delighted with the 24-year-old Sweden international’s response to his midweek misfortune.

He said: “Especially in recent weeks, I’ve seen a real desire off the ball from Alex to press, to work, to set the standards, really, from the front in terms of how we play off the ball and I think he’s been terrific.

“It was not nice to see him cut and bandaged, I’d never say that, but it was nice to see a response to it. He responded and worked even harder, so full credit to him.”

Isak scored twice in his first three games for Newcastle, including a fine strike on his debut at Liverpool, but was then sidelined for almost four months with a thigh injury he sustained on international duty, although Howe admits even that enforced lay-off proved fruitful.

He said: “It was a big change for him when he came to England because just the style of play and our style of play is different, so I think there was a period of adjustment for him.

“But I think probably what helped him, actually, was his early injury gave him a chance to sit back and watch the team and to understand the expectations and how we do things. Sometimes you can see that even clearer from watching.”

Former Real Sociedad frontman Isak, who is again likely to lead the line at West Ham on Sunday with Callum Wilson – like midfielder Joelinton – battling a hamstring injury, is the newly-enriched club’s record signing with his fee eventually set to reach £63million.

But his efforts this week have been celebrated no more than those of defender Fabian Schar, whose £3m price tag when he joined the club from Deportivo la Coruna in July 2018, is starting to look like a spectacular bargain.

Schar’s form under Howe has been superb and the 31-year-old capped a fine defensive display against PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe and company with a stunning injury-time strike from distance.

 

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Howe said: “It’s not about price because that’s only what someone pays and what someone agrees to receive for the player. He’s just been excellent, he really has.

“It’s not a conventional centre-half’s finish that, it’s a centre-forward’s finish, really. But he has the capability to produce moments that take your breath away. Technically he is so good.

“If he was starting his career now, he’d be worth an absolute fortune. He’s a top player and I’m really pleased that he’s getting the consistency and the accolades for his performances.”

Dan Burn realised a dream he never imagined would come true when he scored in Newcastle’s Champions League triumph over Paris St Germain.

The Magpies defender was earning £9 an hour collecting trolleys when he got his break in football as a 17-year-old YTS trainee with Darlington.

On Wednesday night, his header put his side 2-0 ahead in their Group F clash with the French champions at St James’ Park, and they went on to secure a famous 4-1 victory to give themselves a genuine chance of qualification.

 

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Asked afterwards if he had ever dreamt of scoring in the Champions League, the 31-year-old said: “I dreamt of it. I never thought it was going to happen.

 

“I don’t think it’s really sunk in. The next few days once I’ve watched it back about a hundred times and managed to celebrate with my family, it probably will.

“But (it was) just a special night all round for the city.”

Burn’s big moment, which came after Miguel Almiron had fired the home side in front, was surrounded by drama after he headed home Bruno Guimaraes’ cross and immediately saw the flag go up to spark a lengthy VAR check.

But the 6ft 6in defender eventually got the answer he craved to spark wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

He said: “It spoiled it a little bit because as soon as I scored, I looked up and saw the offside flag and you’re a bit deflated.

“But as it went longer and longer, you think it might be a goal and just to have the lads jumping on you and looking around, and I’ve got all my family here as well…

“To be able to say that I’ve scored in the Champions League for Newcastle is amazing.”

Much of the talk before the game centred on how a Newcastle defence shorn of the services of key man Sven Botman would handle the threat of Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Goncalo Ramos and Randal Kolo Muani.

In the event, Burn, Kieran Trippier, Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar – who also got his name on the scoresheet – coped admirably to blunt a potentially lethal attack.

Asked about Mbappe, Burn said with a smile: “He stayed on the left side, so I was quite happy, to be fair. But even to say I was playing against Mbappe is crazy.

“As I said, he kept over to Tripps’ side more, so I was happy with him.”

 

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The Magpies will resume their campaign after the international break with another home tie against Borussia Dortmund, but will do so having made a significant statement about their prospects.

 

Burn said: “We don’t fear anyone. We worked very, very hard to get to this point and we want to enjoy it, but we’ll only enjoy that playing the way that we play.

“We’ve just got to keep the momentum going.”

Newcastle defender Kieran Trippier is relishing the task of ruining Kylian Mbappe’s Champions League trip to Tyneside even if it might upset his son.

Magpies full-back Trippier is likely to be in direct competition with the Paris St Germain superstar when the clubs go head-to-head in Group F at St James’ Park on Wednesday evening.

However, he has revealed his son Jacob is a huge fan of Mbappe – who was seen calling for his gloves as he and his team-mates trained at an autumnal St James’ on Tuesday evening – and that has been a bone of contention in the lead up to an eagerly-anticipated game.

 

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Trippier said with a smile: “I was having a bit of banter with him last night and he said he wanted to walk out with Mbappe instead of me. I wasn’t really happy with that.

“He’s obsessed with him, always watching his clips on YouTube. I said to him, ‘If you get to walk out with Mbappe, you don’t look at me in the tunnel’.”

Trippier saw how dangerous Mbappe can be at close hand at last year’s World Cup finals, where he watched from the bench as France dumped England out at the quarter-final stage, and has also come up against the supremely-talented 24-year-old on the pitch on more than one occasion in the past.

He said: “I played against him – I think it might have been his debut game for Monaco – when I was at Tottenham, and I played against him for England on my debut – it’s quite a few years ago.

“This is football. These are the games you want as a player, playing in the Champions League, playing against the best players, the best teams. Paris have got unbelievable players in the team.

“Of course we need to recognise that Mbappe is one of the best players in the world, but they’ve got quality all over the pitch and we can’t be too fixed on them.

“We need to play our way because on our day, we can hurt anyone.”

For head coach Eddie Howe, the task is to put together a side which can extend an unbeaten five-game run in all competitions and build upon the start they achieved with a 0-0 draw at AC Milan in their opening fixture.

He will have to do so, however, without key defender Sven Botman and in all likelihood, with midfielder Joelinton and striker Callum Wilson also missing through injury.

The fixture, which rekindles memories of a famous 3-2 victory over Barcelona in the same competition in 1997, is a measure of the progress Newcastle have made in the two years since Amanda Staveley’s consortium launched its successful takeover and Howe, who arrived a few weeks later, admits the speed of progress has taken everyone by surprise.

He said: “Things move really quickly in football. I haven’t been here the whole two years, but my part of it has absolutely flown by.

“Initially, nothing like this was in our thoughts, the speed at which it’s happened. The only thing in our thoughts was staying in the Premier League initially.

“But the swing of momentum has shifted so powerfully and quickly in a positive direction for us. My only thought is to keep that momentum for as long as we can.”

A positive result against PSG would provide further evidence of the strides which have been taken, and Trippier insists victory, rather than football tourism, is his only focus.

Asked if he would be chasing Mbappe’s shirt after the final whistle, he said: “That has not crossed my mind. My thought process is to win.”

Kylian Mbappe is available for Paris St Germain’s Ligue 1 clash with Clermont on Saturday but could be rested ahead of the Champions League trip to Newcastle.

The France forward was forced off early in last weekend’s 4-0 hammering of Marseille with an ankle injury and boss Luis Enrique must decide whether to risk him in the meeting against the league’s bottom side.

Mbappe trained away from the rest of the squad on Thursday but was back with his team-mates on Friday.

“Kylian Mbappe trained with the squad today, he’s available,” said Enrique on PSG TV. “He has had some treatment and done some specific sessions, but he’s in shape to play.”

The defending champions made a shaky start to the season, drawing with Lorient and Toulouse and losing to Nice, and sit third in the table behind Brest and Nice heading into the weekend.

But the result against big rivals Marseille coupled with a Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund has put a different complexion on things.

“Confidence comes with good results,” said Enrique. “We had some difficult results early in the season but, when you win, everything is great, and confidence builds with victories.

“There’s a lot of things to improve. In a learning process, there is always a phase at the start where you have to learn a lot.

“We’re still in that phase. I’ve been very happy with the players since I took over but we’re still far from the level we want to achieve in attack and defence.”

Clermont have taken only one point from their first six matches, conceding 12 goals in the process, but Enrique believes that belies their quality.

“They don’t deserve to be bottom of the table,” he said. “They play good football, work well, and last season had a very solid base. They’re one of the best teams defensively.

“It’s an important game because it comes a few days before a Champions League away game. We mustn’t drop off and underestimate our opponents. It won’t be an easy game.”

PSG, meanwhile, announced on Friday that left-back Nuno Mendes is expected to be out for a further four months after undergoing surgery on his hamstring in Finland.

The 21-year-old Portugal international suffered the injury in July and an operation has now been deemed the best option in his recovery.

Enrique said: “For Nuno Mendes, we have to be careful with all of that.

“We’ve got enough strength in depth but we have to find solutions because the season is long.”

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