Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Dijon: Kean off the mark with first-half double

By Ben Spratt 25 October 2020 12
Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Dijon: Kean off the mark with first-half double

Moise Kean scored his first Paris Saint-Germain goals as the Ligue 1 champions bounced back from their Champions League disappointment by beating lowly Dijon 4-0 at the Parc des Princes.

PSG, finalists in Europe last season, started the new continental campaign with a surprise home defeat to Manchester United on Tuesday.

Perhaps with one eye on their next Champions League assignment at Istanbul Basaksehir, Thomas Tuchel started with Kylian Mbappe on the bench against Dijon but there was never any serious prospect of a second straight loss on Saturday.

The division's bottom side performed admirably but lacked the sort of cutting edge displayed by Everton loanee Kean, with his first-half brace, and substitute Mbappe, who added a late double of his own.

A lively start brought the opener inside three minutes as Mitchel Bakker's left-wing cross was volleyed high into the net by Kean at the near post.

It was far from one-way traffic, but Dijon's most presentable early opportunity passed when Abdou Diallo bravely blocked Mama Balde's shot following an awful Marquinhos pass across his own area.

Although Neymar headed a Pablo Sarabia centre onto the post with the goal gaping, then improbably scooped the rebound over, PSG's number 10 created the second with a run from halfway that left Kean with a simple finish into an empty net.

Saturnin Allagbe saved instinctively from Danilo Pereira's header, yet the game slowed considerably after half-time.

Julian Draxler hobbled off with just over half an hour remaining and Kean also sustained a knock before making way for Mbappe.

The substitute sent a clinical third between Allagbe's legs with eight minutes remaining having been set up by Neymar.

And Mbappe still found time to get another, tapping in after 88 minutes when Neymar and Sarabia combined, with the latter unselfishly squaring to the France international in front of goal.

What does it mean? Champions League the focus

Hampered by injuries, suspensions and coronavirus cases, this has been a tough season so far for Tuchel. PSG went top with this win but can be knocked off the summit by Lille on Sunday, while the United defeat quickly put the Ligue 1 giants under pressure in the Champions League, too.

The decision to rest Mbappe - along with Keylor Navas, Alessandro Florenzi, Presnel Kimpembe and Ander Herrera, all also on the bench - suggested the coach is not willing to take any risks ahead of the trip to Turkey.

New man Moise makes his mark, Neymar superb

Kean did not excel as expected at Everton but is getting another chance in Paris. Tuchel's early season selection headaches have played into the 20-year-old's favour and he took his chance.

The Italy international attempted only seven passes - the fewest of any starter - but still had four openings and took two of them.

Neymar, meanwhile, was superb despite not scoring - he had two assists and added a 'second assist' with PSG's fourth goal. The Brazil star created an astonishing eight chances in the match.

Wide-ranging impact of Verratti absence

PSG lack an obvious alternative to Marco Verratti in terms of a midfield metronome, with Tuchel seemingly believing captain Marquinhos - a centre-back - represents his best option there at present.

That meant midfielder Danilo Pereira moving into defence and the champions never really looked comfortable. Dijon had 10 attempts and six corners before half-time - although Danilo made two clearances, an interception and a block in that time - while Marquinhos almost gifted the visitors an equaliser.

What's next?

Basaksehir welcome PSG on Wednesday, where only victory will do for Tuchel's side. Dijon play next at home to Lorient next Sunday.

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Ben Spratt