Football

Mbappe breaks record in PSG win

Kylian Mbappe reached 50 Ligue 1 goals as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nimes 3-0 at home, becoming the youngest person to ever achieve the feat.

Christopher Nkunku opened the scoring before Mbappe hit a double after the break in a victory that stretched PSG’s lead at the top of the table to 17 points after their nearest rival, Lille, drew on Friday night.

Marco Verratti found Nkunku in space with a ball over the top in the fifth minute, allowing the midfielder to control and finish.

Things could have been even better for Mbappe had he not had two goals ruled out in the first half, after being adjudged to have handballed the first and been offside for the second.

The striker finally got his name on the scoresheet after 69 minutes, marking his 50th goal in Ligue 1 with a neat finish after a PSG counter-attack, adding a second late on.

The previous holder of the record was Yannick Stopyra who reached the mark back in 1982 but at 20 years, two months and three days, Mbappe has overtaken his feat.

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe now has 51 Ligue 1 goals after his brace in the 3-0 win over Nimes at Parc des Princes on Saturday and the France international admitted that he is motivated to set new records.

Christopher Nkunku put PSG ahead in the first half but Mbappe added a second-half brace to ensure the three-point haul for Thomas Tuchel’s men who took a provisional 17-point lead at the top of Le Championnat.

“I work every day to help my team as much as possible,” said Mbappe after the final whistle. “I want to enjoy my football because it is great fun. Scoring goals and breaking records is what drives me.”

Mbappe also praised Tuchel for his role in the victory, citing the German manager’s desire for relentless attack and effort as the reason for his and his teammates’ impressive form and performances this season.

“The coach transmits [and] motivates us to never give up and to always keep going forward,” Mbappe said. “We have players that run for the full 90 minutes — we do it for him, as well as the supporters.

“We are working well. We have come a long way and we still have a long way to go — we need to continue like this.”

Tuchel himself was dissatisfied by his team’s finishing against Nimes and wanted more goals, particularly from Mbappe, although he did recognise their improved second-half showing.

“We had a lot of chances to score throughout the game,” said the coach. “We could have won by more — Kylian could have scored five goals!

“Perhaps we lacked a little concentration, but I think we played really well and defended high up the pitch.

“The second half was exceptional. It was a great win — the team got stronger and stronger as the game wore on.”

Midfielder Marco Verratti, who assisted Nkunku’s opener, expressed his delight that his teammate has already reached a half-century of Ligue 1 goals.

“The most important thing is that Kylian keeps getting opportunities,” the Italy international said. “Right now, we are managing to find him.

“Kylian is even more decisive when played through the middle and we are happy with that — I am really pleased that he has already reached 50 Ligue 1 goals.”

Next up for Mbappe, Verratti and PSG are Dijon at home in the Coupe de France quarterfinals next Tuesday.

 

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