In preparation for a crucial European showdown against AC Milan next Wednesday, Paris Saint-Germain comfortably defeated Strasbourg 3-0 at the Parc des Princes. The victory finally allowed PSG to grab hold of the first position in the Ligue 1 table, even if it might only be for 24 hours.
Kylian Mbappe kickstarted the evening with a penalty kick in the 10th minute, following a dynamic connection with Bradley Barcola. Carlos Soler extended the lead in the 31st minute. The third goal came from a brilliant sequence by fellow Spaniard Fabian Ruiz in the 77th minute.
Layvin Kurzawa made a return to the field after 881 days, entering the game in the 83rd minute, eliciting mixed reactions from the crowd. It's been reported that Kurzawa was out of Luis Enrique's plans and that PSG were looking into signing a left-back next January, but this surprising development might mean the opposite is what will happen.
Luis Enrique's tactical adjustments proved effective, allowing PSG to dominate against Strasbourg's defensive gameplan and formation. Mbappe aimed for a personal double but narrowly missed in the 42nd and 52nd minutes.
Strasbourg had occasional moments, with Lebo Mothiba's goal disallowed for offside in the 12th minute and a Gerzino Nyamsi header in the 75th minute. PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma remained steadfast against Strasbourg's attempts and the minnows never really threatened the overall score.
PSG now eyes their upcoming Champions League clash with AC Milan and they will try to keep building on a strong performance against Strasbourg, albeit knowing the UCL is a different beast.
The vibes are good and the results are improving, which surely sets a positive tone amid the usual drama that surrounds the club on a weekly basis.
The victory reaffirms PSG's lead atop the Ligue 1 and even though it's possible they don't close the weekend sitting there, the players and the coach will definitely like to once and for all be vulturing those places after a struggling start to the season.