PSG Scores Five Against Monaco Prior to Champions League Clash Against Newcastle United

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Ousmane Dembele scored his first Paris Saint-Germain goal in stunning fashion as the reigning French champions crushed Monaco 5-2 in Ligue 1 on Friday to cement their lead at the top of the table. Goncalo Ramos opened the scoring early on for PSG but a howler by home goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma gifted Takumi Minamino the equaliser soon after. However, Kylian Mbappe’s penalty against his former club restored PSG’s lead and two superb goals in the space of three second-half minutes by Dembele and Vitinha put the game out of sight.

Folarin Balogun pulled another back for Monaco but substitute Randal Kolo Muani put the seal on PSG’s win in stoppage time.

Paris have now won seven and drawn one of their last eight Ligue 1 games and this result moved them four points clear of second-placed Nice, who are in action on Sunday. Monaco remain third but are six points adrift of the leaders.

“The most important thing was the attitude shown by the players after the international break,” said PSG coach Luis Enrique.

“We had one day’s training, for one hour, to prepare for this game.”

The result, which was achieved despite captain Marquinhos and teenage midfield prodigy Warren Zaire-Emery both missing out through injury, was a boost for Luis Enrique’s team ahead of a crucial home Champions League clash with Newcastle United.

The Qatar-backed side could be at real risk of going out of Europe’s elite club competition in the group stage if they fail to win that match on Tuesday.

“Monaco are a team on the same level as us and also aspire to win the league, so it is a good result,” added Luis Enrique.

“We are going into a vital game against Newcastle and the best way to do that is to win, and all the better winning in that way.”

Marquinhos and Zaire-Emery were both injured on international duty and so there were notably starts for PSG here for Nordi Mukiele at left-back and for Fabian Ruiz in central midfield.

Portugal striker Ramos was preferred to Kolo Muani at centre-forward and he opened the scoring in the 18th minute, pouncing to finish after goalkeeper Philipp Koehn spilled a Dembele shot.

Monaco had squandered a great chance to go ahead before that when the unmarked Soungoutou Magassa failed to beat Donnarumma with a header from point-blank range.

Donnarumma howler

The principality side also had a Vanderson goal disallowed for offside but they were gifted an equaliser midway through the first half when Donnarumma played an attempted clearance straight to Minamino and the Japan international pounced to score.

Nevertheless, the Parisians went back in front six minutes before the interval as Magassa caught Dembele in the box, and Mbappe rifled in the resulting penalty for his 14th goal in 12 Ligue 1 appearances this season.

Donnarumma made up for his earlier gaffe with a fine save from Minamino to maintain PSG’s lead into half-time, and they ended any doubt about the outcome with two goals in quick succession in the second half.

It was 3-1 on 70 minutes as Dembele showed great agility to control a quickly-taken free-kick sent over the top by Ruiz, and then advanced into the box to finish emphatically past Koehn.

It was his first goal in 16 appearances since signing for PSG from Barcelona in August.

Two minutes after that it was four as Portugal midfielder Vitinha controlled a pass from Mbappe wide on the left and curled a fine strike into the far corner.

Monaco quickly pulled one back when Minamino sent through USA striker Balogun to finish past Donnarumma, but they conceded again in the sixth added minute as a botched Guillermo Maripan clearance fell to Kolo Muani to score.

The defeat is a blow to Monaco’s hopes of mounting a title challenge and they have now won just once in four outings.

“It is easy to analyse this game today. We conceded four goals that were for me own goals and at this level that is too much,” said Monaco coach Adi Huetter.

“PSG is a top team. When you want to be on top of the table, or in the best three in France, we made too many mistakes.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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