KILLIAN MBAPE twice scored a goal assist for Lionel Messi when the impressive Paris Saint-Germain came out behind to beat Saint-Etienne 3-1 and further extend the advantage at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday.
Denis Buanga brought the visitors with difficulty to the “Parc des Princes” only to Mbape equalized just before the break, and the French striker struck again immediately after the restart.
He then tuned Danilo Pereira to lead the hosts ’third goal when Mauricio Pachetino’s team recovered from a 3-1 defeat away to Nantes last weekend and moved away from Nice and Marseille by 16 points as they headed for the French champions.
“PSG” was three goals behind in the break against “Nantes”, and they were punished for a slow start here. Gabon’s international Buang attacked Pereira’s mistake by releasing Gianluigi Donarumma.
However, the hosts eventually revived, and Mbape continued his remarkable recent form series, with his double scoring 24 goals in all competitions this season.
He was selected to applause late in the evening at the Parc des Princes, where fans warmed up on a very cold night, performing a Mexican wave when their team turned on the style.
Now Mbape will miss a trip to Nice next weekend, after which on March 9 there will be a match in the 1/8 finals of the Champions League “PSG” against “Real” in Spain.
There Parisian will defend the 1-0 advantage given to them by Mbape’s goal in the first match.
Here he equalized three minutes before the break, catching a great pass from Messi and making a shot that should have saved Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni.
Messi then made another great pass for Mbape, who two minutes after the restart fired decisively to bring the hosts ahead.
The third goal was scored in the 52nd minute, when Mbape made a great canopy on the outside of the right boot for the Portuguese midfielder Pereira, and then PSG was several times close to increasing its advantage.
Angel Di Maria, coming on as a substitute, hit the post straight from the corner, while the lively Neymar and Georgina Veinaldum also hit the post at the end.
Saint-Etienne remain just a point above the relegation zone before their rivals at the foot of the table play on Sunday.
Earlier, Nice jumped to Marseille in second place by goal difference, playing a 0-0 draw away to Strasbourg, which is in fifth place.
“Rennes” is in fourth place by goal difference after a 4-2 victory away to Montpellier on Friday.