Paris Saint-Germain are just one win away from defending their Ligue 1 Uber Eats crown after coasting past relegated AC Ajaccio 5-0 with Kylian Mbappé bagging a brace at the Parc des Princes.

Lionel Messi was back in PSG’s starting line-up after the club rescinded his recent in-house suspension, but it was attacking partners Mbappé and Hugo Ekitiké who looked busier in the final third. Achraf Hakimi fizzed a low cross to the former which Mbappé tried to back-heel towards goal, but he couldn’t quite connect (7′).

After Mickaël Barreto had headed straight into Gigio Donnarumna’s gloves (13′), Ekitiké then thought he should have had a penalty at the other end, but his claim was waved on by referee Pierre Gaillouste (20′). Paris then took the lead through Fabian Ruiz, who latched onto Danilo Pereira’s through ball before poking home (22′).

It was 2-0 10 minutes later, with Mbappé’s shot parried into Achraf Hakimi’s path by François-Joseph Sollacaro, and the right-back finished from a tight angle (32′). Kevin Spadanuda should have reduced the arrears on the stroke of half-time but he fluffed his lines at the back post (45’+1).

The second half was only two minutes old when Mbappé made it three, the ball squirming under Sollacaro after Ajaccio had failed to clear their lines (47′). Mbappé completed his brace soon after. Sergio Ramos sent a long ball forward and although Cédric Avinel got a head to it, Mbappé let the ball drop before finishing with a sensational volley (54′). Danilo was the next to try his luck, letting fly from range, but Sollacaro was equal to it (60′).

Ajaccio had another chance when Moussa Soumano cut back for Mickaël Barreto, but the midfielder fired over (67′). Vitinha steered an effort wide for PSG (72′) before the hosts made it five through a deflected Marquinhos effort (73′). Both sides saw men sent off late on, with Hakimi (77′) followed by Thomas Mangani (80′) and it ended 5-0.

Mbappé moved onto 26 goals for the season with his brace, pulling him two clear of Alexandre Lacazette in the race to be crowned Ligue 1 Uber Eats’ top scorer this season. Much of the pre-match column inches were dominated by Messi’s return, but Mbappé has long since been PSG’s best player.

Source: Ligue 1

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