Friday, October 23, 2020

Icardi double gives PSG 2-0 win at Reims

Football

Paris Saint-Germain's Mauro Icardi celebrates scoring their first goal. (Reuters Photo)

REIMS - French champions Paris St Germain earned their third successive Ligue 1 win after their opening two defeats as Argentine striker Mauro Icardi scored twice in their 2-0 win at struggling Reims on Sunday.

The result lifted PSG to seventh place on nine points from five games, four behind leaders Rennes, while Reims stayed 19th on one point.

Icardi fired the visitors ahead in the ninth minute with a crisp low shot into the far corner from 10 metres after a perfect assist by Kylian Mbappe.

Reims goalkeeper Predrag Rajkovic then kept the home side afloat with several fine saves, with Neymar spurning a gilt-edged chance in the 43rd minute when he shot wide after beating three defenders with a dazzling solo run.

The hosts missed their best opportunity on the hour when substitute Boulaye Dia hit the post and they were punished barely a minute later as good work by Mbappe and Julian Draxler left Icardi with a simple finish.

Mbappe notched his second assist of the night, exchanging a one-two with Draxler before squaring the ball to Icardi for a tap-in from close range into an empty net.

Rajkovic produced another fine stop midway through the second half to deny Mbappe, who was guilty of poor finishing in the 82nd minute as he shot wide with only the keeper to beat after a fast break.

Pablo Sarabia blazed a shot over the bar and Neymar's free kick sailed inches wide in the closing stages.

Earlier on Sunday, Wissam Ben Yedder scored twice in nine-man Monaco's 3-2 win over Strasbourg as the home side had Aurelien Tchouameni and Axel Disasi sent off in the second half.

Last season's Champions League semi-finalists Olympique Lyonnais continued their patchy start with a 1-1 draw at 16th-placed Lorient which left them 11th on six points.