Julian Draxler picks up slack left by suspended Kylian Mbappe in PSG win vs. Saint-Etienne
Paris Saint-Germain warmed up for their Champions League Group C opener against Liverpool next week with a 4-0 thrashing of Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 on Friday.
Julian Draxler opened the scoring in the first half before Edinson Cavani (a penalty), Angel Di Maria and Moussa Diaby added strikes in the second 45 to maintain Thomas Tuchel's 100 percent winning start to life at Parc des Princes.
The convincing nature of the victory, particularly the attacking nature of it, will have pleased Tuchel with a tough test at Anfield coming up on Tuesday. Marco Verratti's successful return to action with an assist in his 67-minute outing was another reason for the German tactician to smile. Tuchel's compatriot Draxler will also be happy with his goal and overall performance in a much-needed dose of 90 minutes.
The only real blemish on the evening was captain Thiago Silva being forced off injured towards the end, and while it may only turn out to have been precautionary, it is not ideal ahead of Liverpool.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Tuchel set a PSG record of five Ligue 1 victories from a possible five by going with a logical formation that got the best out of Draxler from the start, eased Verratti back into action and bled Diaby in perfectly after half-time.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 6 -- Worked harder than you would think in a 4-0 win, he was solid when called upon and the clean sheet will be a pre-Anfield confidence boost.
DF Thomas Meunier, 6 -- Got forward whenever possible and put some dangerous balls into the box -- even if none of them created goals.
DF Thiago Silva, 6 -- Forced off injured late on, his potential absence in Liverpool will be a concern over the coming days as the defence still looks unconvincing with or without him.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 7 -- Solid enough alongside Silva in central defence, he is primed for an important role next week regardless of whether he plays with Silva, Marquinhos or Thilo Kehrer.
DF Juan Bernat, 6 -- As far as debuts go, it was decent -- particularly when you consider his injury problems towards the end of his time with Bayern Munich.
MF Lassana Diarra, 4 -- Rusty upon his return to action from a knee problem, it was not a massive surprise that he was substituted at half-time.
MF Marco Verratti, 7 -- Back in action after a frustrating start to the season fitness-wise, he was not short of inspiration and beautifully teed up Draxler for the opener.
MF Adrien Rabiot, 6 -- Deservedly booked for diving in the first half, he was otherwise good and took no unnecessary risks ahead of Liverpool. Verratti's return meant that the midfield was more convincing than it was pre-international break.
FW Angel Di Maria, 7 -- His impressive start to the season continued with another goal, so Tuchel will be spoiled for choice at Anfield with most of his attacking options in scoring form. Also of note was his committed display, which featured plenty of defending.
FW Edinson Cavani, 6 -- Although he was not at his sharpest, he continues to be unerringly clinical in front of goal and got his third from as many matches from the penalty spot after winning the penalty himself. He also provided Diaby with the final goal of the game.
FW Julian Draxler, 7 -- Pre-match, he needed to take his chance with Kylian Mbappe suspended, and he did just that with an opportunistic finish, as well as a good overall showing as part of the attack and then the midfield later on.
FW Moussa Diaby, 7 -- The youth academy graduate was lively once introduced for the start of the second half and deserved his goal late on to complete the rout.
MF Christopher Nkunku, 6 -- Given the final 23 minutes, he showed enterprise and could have found himself in a goal-scoring position after some neat footwork inside the penalty area.
DF Thilo Kehrer, NR -- Sent on to shore up the defence for the final 11 minutes to allow Silva to exit the pitch, he paired well enough with Kimpembe to prevent a late consolation strike for Saint-Etienne.