Paris Saint-Germain moved one step closer to clinching another Ligue 1 title via two hat-tricks from Kylian Mbappe and Neymar in a 6-1 victory over relegation-threatened Clermont Foot.
It was Mauricio Pochettino’s side who started better, and they took the lead early when Lionel Messi found Neymar who smashed home just six minutes in.
PSG’s second involved all three of their attacking trio, Neymar to Messi to Kylian Mbappe, and the French striker latched onto Messi’s perfectly weighted through ball and finished smartly.
However, the league leaders let Clermont back into the game as Jodel Dossou tapped in at the back post from close range just prior to half time.
Eventually PSG restored control, suddenly Mbappe turned his speed on and won a penalty that Neymar converted.
Mbappe and Neymar then went on to score another goal each to both secure hat-tricks and share the match ball.
The result means PSG are now 15 points clear at the top of the table and will soon be officially crowned as champions.
On the other hand, Clermont remain in 17th place just one point ahead of St-Etienne who sit in the relegation play-off spot. Most worryingly for Pascal Gastien’s team is that they have now lost all of their last five matches.
Admittedly, matches versus PSG will not determine their season but being in such poor form at such an important time is a big concern. They were promoted to the top flight for the first time for this season but they could easily be heading straight back to the second tier if they don’t pick up some points.
TALKING POINT – IS KYLIAN MBAPPPE THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD?
Tonight the 23-year-old was on fire registering three goals and an assist as PSG ripped apart Clermont especially in the latter stages of the game. PSG were in a difficult situation at 1-2 as Clermont had them under pressure but Mbappe used his lightening quick speed to win a penalty that put them two goals ahead.
He then turned the game on it’s head scoring another two and setting up Neymar for his side’s sixth. He ran riot and there was nothing that the Clermont defence could do to stop him – simply unplayable.
Messi is debatably the best player ever and a Ballon D’Or winner multiple times, he registered three assists today but he could soon be passing that crown on to his team mate. Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah will have other ideas though.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
It can only be him. Yes, Neymar and Messi were both fantastic, not forgetting the under appreciated work of Verratti in screening the back four and keeping the ball excellently but Mbappe made the difference at the top end of the pitch when needed. His third goal was a brilliant curling finish that was even applauded by some Clermont fans.
Clermont: Desmas 7, Zedadka 4, Seidu 6, Billong 5, Mendy 5, Gastien 5, Magnin 6, Berthomier 6, Dossou 6, Khaoui 5, Bayo 6. Subs: Allevinah 6, Kyei 6, Da Cunha 6, Busquets 6, Ogier 6.
PSG: Donnarumma 7, Hakimi 6, Ramos 7, Kimpembe 6, Mendes 7, Verratti 7, Danilo 7, Gueye 5, Neymar 9, Messi 9, Mbappe 10. Subs:Wijnaldum 6, Kehrer 6, Michut 6, Bernat 6, Ebimbe 6.
6′ – GOAL! 0-1: Danilo wins it back, it goes to Messi who plays it into Neymar, he fires across the goalkeeper and it’s 1-0 but there is controversy. Clermont had a man down in the box injured playing everyone onside. They wanted the game stopped but it wasn’t.
19′ – GOAL 0-2: That is sublime. Neymar finds Messi who chests the ball then volleys it in behind the Clermont defence to the running forward Mbappe who lifts the ball over the goalkeeper. The trio combine – that is too good.
42′ – GOAL 1-2: They get one back. Berthomier plays a smart reverse ball to Khaoui who flashes the ball low across the box and Dossou is there to tap home from close range. Gueye didn’t track his run.
71′ – GOAL 1-3: Penalty. Neymar sends the goalkeeper the wrong way.
74′ – GOAL 1-4: Neymar what a ball! Outside of the foot through to Mbappe who is running in behind. He goes around the goalkeeper with composure and slots into an empty goal.
80′ – GOAL 1-5: Mbappe scores – he will take home the match ball. Messi finds him with a perfect pass and Mbappe curls one past the goalkeeper – sensational finish even the Clermont fans applaud.
83′ – GOAL 1-6: Clermont are so open and Mbappe runs through and can shoot himself but instead squares it to Neymar to score. Two hat tricks – incredible.