Paris, Feb 8 (AP):
Kylian Mbappe scored early on as Paris Saint-Germain eased to a 2-0 win at bitter rival Marseille in the French league. The contest was far removed from September’s fiery meeting in Paris, when Marseille won 1-0 and five players were sent off on Sunday. Mbappe struck in the eighth minute with a confident finish after sprinting clear from near the halfway line, and strike partner Mauro Icardi flicked a looping header over goalkeeper Steve Mandanda in the 23rd. Although Marseille improved after the break, it was missing imposing striker Arkadiusz Milik because of a thigh injury and was ineffective without its new signing from Napoli. Marseille had playmaker Dimitri Payet sent off in the last minute for a crude challenge on midfielder Marco Verratti. PSG’s comfortable win came at a cost, however, with winger Angel Di Maria limping off with a right thigh injury. Barcelona awaits PSG in the round of 16 in the Champions League with the first leg on Feb. 16. PSG remains in third place, one point behind Lyon and three adrift of leader Lille after 24 of 38 rounds.
Earlier, Canada forward Jonathan David scored both goals as Lille won 2-0 at struggling Nantes.
Aleksandr Golovin scored a hat trick and set up the other goal as fourth-place Monaco won 4-3 at Nimes for a seventh straight league win.
David’s second goal was superbly taken as he thumped the ball home from the edge of the penalty area late on, following fine play by Timothy Weah and Renato Sanches to set him up.
David opened the scoring after eight minutes against a lackluster Nantes side which is in 18th place and has not won any of the seven games since former France coach Raymond Domenech took charge.
Down south in Nimes, Golovin starred.
Russia’s midfield star from the 2018 World Cup put Monaco 2-0 up with identical-looking goals inside 11 minutes, ghosting to the back post to meet two crosses from the left by Fode Ballo-Toure.
Striker Wissam Ben Yedder had a goal disallowed soon after as Monaco made a rampant start, only for its leaky defense to allow Nimes to get back in the game. Zinedine Ferhat set up Lucas Deaux and then scored himself to make it 2-2 after 30 minutes of a thrilling half.
Fourth-place Monaco’s total of 35 goals conceded is the highest of the top six but it has now scored 50.
Golovin restored the lead in the 61st when his free kick from the left went past everyone, including unsighted goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet, for his hat trick. He then played striker Kevin Volland through for the fourth in the 76th. Niclas Eliasson pulled one back for last-place Nimes with a free kick.
Niko Kovac’s slick coaching has helped move Monaco up the table, and it faces defending champion Paris Saint-Germain in two weeks.
Paris, Feb 8 (AP):