Kylian Mbappe breaks silence on PSG contract talks after scoring twice; Neymar celebrates 100th game in rout
Paris Saint-Germain have opened up a provisional three-point gap at the top of Ligue 1 after a 4-0 thrashing of Montpellier at Parc des Princes on Friday. Although it took 34 minutes and a red card for visiting goalkeeper Jonas Omlin to break the deadlock through Kylian Mbappe from an Angel Di Maria assist, it was not until the second half that the floodgates opened.
Neymar was teed up by Mbappe top score on his 100th Parisien appearance while Mauro Icardi grabbed a quickfire third before turning provider for Mbappe to make it four. PSG with four wins from five outings since Mauricio Pochettino took over as head coach and the Argentine was at Parc des Princes to see his side cruise to victory despite recently testing positive for COVID-19.
After the match, Mbappe broke his silence on extension talks, revealing that he is talking to the club about a long-term contract renewal, with a decision possibly coming soon. “I am currently considering extending my PSG contract,” Mbappe said. “If I do so, it will be to stay in Paris for a long time.”
The France international grabbed his first goals of 2021 and added an assist for good measure in his most accomplished outing under Pochettino so far. Mbappe was sharper than he has looked in any of the other PSG games since the start of the year and the release of pressure provided by his goals should enable him to play with greater freedom moving forward. The former Tottenham Hotspur boss has been defending the young star since his arrival at Parc des Princes a few weeks ago and that public support has now been rewarded.
After starting the season so well this season, Montpellier are falling away and now have a seven-game winless run with five losses to correct. Michel Der Zakarian’s men are conceding far more goals than usual and this was the latest in a series of costly defeats. La Paillade are now in the bottom half of the table, eight points off the European places and having played a game more than many opponents.
On his 100th appearance in Parisien colors, the Brazilian wizard conjured up a goal as part of a vibrant performance. Unfortunately, Neymar will now miss a domestic game after picking up a late booking, but Pochettino should have even more squad members available by then. PSG need to be careful with the 28-year-old to ensure that he maintains this level of involvement going into the UEFA Champions League clash with Barcelona.
The Argentine was at Parc des Princes to witness the best display of his short tenure so far and will be pleased with what he saw from his players. His star-heavy attack blew Montpellier away while the midfield and defense did their jobs when needed as well. Each passing game sees more and more signs of Pochettino’s impact emerging and this was arguably the strongest signal yet.
Les Parisiens now lead by three points atop Ligue 1 to put their title rivals under pressure and things domestically are far brighter than they were a few weeks ago under Thomas Tuchel. PSG are scoring regularly and now have three clean sheets from Pochettino’s five games in charge of the side. Lorient, Nimes, Marseille and Nice await before the Barca clash in the Champions League.