Dijon 0 Paris Saint-Germain 4: No Champions League hangover as Di Maria dazzles
Paris Saint-Germain began the process of putting another Champions League collapse behind them as they eased to a 4-0 Ligue 1 win at relegation-threatened Dijon.
Thomas Tuchel’s men have again been left to lick their wounds following a European disappointment after surrendering a 2-0 first-leg lead against Manchester United in the last 16, losing 3-1 at Parc des Princes last week.
The inquest into their latest meltdown in Europe’s biggest club competition will go on, but PSG did at least continue their procession to another Ligue 1 title in style at Stade Gaston-Gerard on Tuesday.
Kylian Mbappe, who said he has had trouble sleeping in the aftermath of the United defeat, had a goal sandwiched by fine finishes from Marquinhos and Angel Di Maria – the latter a wonderful free-kick – as PSG moved 17 points clear of Lille at the top of the table.
Substitute Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting’s second league goal for the club added gloss to the scoreline in second-half injury time.
Any hope Dijon had of furthering PSG’s misery was dented after just seven minutes, when two markers allowed Marquinhos to head home a Di Maria corner at the near post.
The hosts did not lack the confidence to press in search of a quick response and Wesley Said flashed a long-range effort wide before Mbappe was thwarted by an impressive Runar Runarsson save at the other end.
Mbappe did double the lead five minutes before half-time, however, bundling home Layvin Kurzawa’s low left-wing delivery into an empty net after Runarsson failed to deal with it.
Just five minutes after the restart Di Maria extinguished any lingering Dijon hopes by bending a free-kick in off the right-hand post.
Mbappe was less fortunate as he struck the woodwork late on, but there was more misery for Dijon, who remain in the relegation play-off spot, as Choupo-Moting slid home a fourth in the 92nd minute.
Angel Di María on target at Dijon#DFCOPSG
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) March 12, 2019
What does it mean? – No hangover as PSG cruise
Given the disheartening nature of their Champions League loss, a mentally scarred PSG were at risk of further humiliation. As soon as Marquinhos headed in, however, it was apparent that was not going to happen, and they were professional in cruising to a 24th league win of the season.
Di Maria a delight
Though his influence was limited against United, Di Maria has again been exceptional for PSG this season and he was so again on Tuesday. He had a hand in the first two goals and his free-kick for the third was a joy to behold.
Lautoa a liability
An experienced and versatile player, who can operate in midfield as well as defence, Wesley Lautoa is supposed to provide a dependable presence at the back. Instead he failed to track Marquinhos properly for the opener and then gave away the free-kick from which Di Maria added a fine third. A nightmare showing for the former Lorient man.
PSG welcome Marseille to Parc des Princes for Le Classique on Sunday. Dijon visit Guingamp on Saturday in a huge fixture at the bottom.