PARIS, September 11 (Reuters) – Paris St Germain kept their perfect Ligue 1 record intact as they hammered promoted Clermont 4-0 with a brutal display on Saturday.
In the absence of Lionel Messi and Neymar, who were not in the squad after a late return to international service with Argentina and Brazil, Kylian Mbappe scored his fourth goal in his first appearance at the Parc des Princes since his failed transfer to Real Madrid.
The French forward, who has just recovered from a calf injury, was a constant threat as he added to Ander Herrera’s brace in the first half with Idrissa Gueye rounding up after the hour.
PSG, who will travel to Club Brugge on Wednesday for their Champions League Group A opener, lead the standings with 15 points, Clermont still third with eight points after their first loss in their debut season in the league. ‘elite.
The Parc des Princes crowd paid tribute to French cinema icon Jean-Paul Belmondo and former club defender Jean-Pierre Adams, both of whom died this week with Messi in the stands.
Clermont played his possession game early but left space on the flanks and Achraf Hakimi took advantage of it on the right, scoring a powerful cross which was pushed back by Arthur Desmas, only for Herrera to come home in the 20th minute.
The visitors continued to apply pressure and created danger in the box, but goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was playing his first game for PSG at the expense of Keylor Navas, proved solid.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side doubled the score in the 31st minute as Mbappe’s cut was deflected by Florent Ogier on the way to Herrera, who slammed the ball for his third goal of the season.
Mbappe, the only pure striker from the starting 11, extended PSG’s advantage 10 minutes into the second half, finishing a counterattack after being played by Julian Draxler.
He was recovering 10 minutes later when his right-footed strike was parried by Desmas, but Gueye waited and headed for the empty net.
PSG, who have now scored 16 goals in five outings, then played it safe for their first clean sheet of the season.
Later on Saturday, fifth-placed Olympique de Marseille travel to Monaco, which has won just one of its first four matches. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)