Kylian Mbappe, Randal Kolo Muani and Lee Kang-in were all on target as Paris Saint-Germain got back to winning ways in the Champions League with an impressive 3-0 home victory against AC Milan on Wednesday.
PSG were eager to bounce back from their 4-1 defeat away to Newcastle United three weeks ago and they ultimately had too much attacking quality for their Italian visitors at the Parc des Princes, AFP reports.
Mbappe opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark with his 10th club goal this season, and his France teammate Kolo Muani added another shortly after half-time.
Lee then came off the bench to net the third late on, the South Korean star’s first for the club.
PSG thoroughly deserved their win, with the Ligue 1 side a different proposition from the disjointed team that was overloaded with forwards and overrun in midfield against Newcastle.
“We are very proud of our performance,” Kolo Muani told broadcaster Canal Plus.
“Winning these games gives everyone confidence and we need to carry on this way.”
Having started their European campaign with a 2-0 home win against Borussia Dortmund, PSG top Group F with six points ahead of a trip to Milan next.
The seven-time European champions are bottom of the section with two points and a big concern for Stefano Pioli’s side will be that they have yet to score in the group.
“Obviously we are not in a good position,” Pioli admitted.
“I was hoping Newcastle wouldn’t beat Dortmund because that would help us but we can’t just hope for other results to go our way.”
This game saw French international brothers Lucas Hernandez, the PSG defender, and Theo, the Milan captain, come up against each other.
It also saw PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and his Milan counterpart Mike Maignan face the clubs with whom they started their careers.
But the stars of the show were elsewhere, with Mbappe — who was hugged by a pitch invader in the first half — looking arguably sharper than he has done at any point up to now this season for PSG.
– Zaire-Emery stands out –
Meanwhile, the 17-year-old Warren Zaire-Emery was exceptional in PSG’s midfield and his performance will not have gone unnoticed by France coach Didier Deschamps, who was watching from the stands.
“I am very pleased to be the man of the match, but it is a team effort first and foremost,” Zaire-Emery told Canal Plus.
“He does everything well, defensively and in attack. He is aggressive, good technically, has good vision, can score and set up goals,” said coach Luis Enrique.
“He is the perfect example for all young kids who want to be footballers and want to get to the highest level.”
Zaire-Emery made the opening goal in the 32nd minute when he collected possession in midfield, burst away from Tijjani Reijnders and found Mbappe, who advanced into the box before beating Maignan with an early, low shot into the corner.
That was a blow to Milan, who had started well and upset the Paris defence with their high pressing.
It was not just Zaire-Emery who impressed in the home midfield, with Vitinha continuing his fine form this season in a position close to Mbappe on the left.
Meanwhile Manuel Ugarte is the man who holds it all together, but his physical approach denied PSG a second goal three minutes after half-time.
Ousmane Dembele thought he had scored his first goal for the Qatar-owned club since signing from Barcelona in the close season, as he ran through to plant a low shot beyond Maignan.
However, Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic disallowed the goal following a VAR review for a foul by Ugarte on Yunus Musah in the build-up.
PSG didn’t have to wait long to make it 2-0 though, as Kolo Muani turned the ball into an empty net in the 53rd minute after Maignan had pushed out a Dembele shot.
Milan tried unsuccessfully to find a way back into the game, while Maignan intervened more than once to stop Mbappe scoring again, notably touching a shot onto the outside of the post.
But the home side made it three in the 89th minute as Zaire-Emery powered down the right and set up Lee to score with a first-time strike.