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Sport French football Paris St Germain Montpellier Neymar Kylian Mbappe

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Mbappé and di Maria strike as PSG go 15 points clear

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Kylian Mbappé scored his 20th league goal of the season in PSG's 5-1 win over Montpellier. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

No Neymar? No Edinson Cavani? No problem. Paris Saint-Germain made light of the absence of 300 million euros worth of attacking talent on Wednesday night with a 5-1 destruction of Montpellier at the Parc des Princes.


Angel di Maria and Kylian Mbappé – who cost a mere 240 million euros between them – provided the platform for the victory that, with a game in hand, sent the champions 15 points clear of Lille.

Despite missing a host of regular starters, PSG were quickly into their stride and dominating possession.

Layvin Kurzawa headed in their opener after 13 minutes and when di Maria was sent through on goal minutes later 2-0 seemed inevitable.

But Benjamin Lecomte got down well to foil the Argentina international.

On the half hour mark, it was all square. Marco Verratti chopped down Ellyes Skhiri just outside the penalty area. Florent Mollet stepped up and curled the ball over the wall.

The PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon thought he had kept it out but goal-line technology confirmed the ball had just crossed the line.

Rout

There was no need though for such hi-tech gadgetry on the stroke of half-time.

Di Maria's free-kick from 30 metres was struck sumptuously and beat Lecomte's despairing dive into the top left hand corner.

With the faithful in full voice, PSG turned the screw in six second-half minutes.

Peter Skuletic and Vitorino Hilton put through their own net and Mbappé hit his 20th league goal of the season to complete the rout.

"It came down to patience and quality and a bit of luck as well," said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel after his side maintained their perfect home record in the league this season with their 13th consecutive win.

"It was not our best performance but with our attacking quality it was a deserved victory," said the German.