PARIS (Reuters) – Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored a second-half brace, including a sublime solo goal, as titleholders Paris St Germain thumped brave Toulouse 4-0 in their Ligue 1 match on Sunday.
The Cameroon player danced through the Toulouse defence to break the deadlock in the 50th minute and an unlucky own goal by Matthieu Goncalves gifted PSG their second five minutes later.
Angel Di Maria saw a penalty saved by Baptiste Reynet before Choupo-Moting added the third in the 75th minute and Marquinhos completed the scoring.
However, muscle injuries for both Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe took some of the gloss off the Parisians’ evening as they bounced back from their 2-1 defeat against Rennes the week before and moved up to third with six points.
Uruguay forward Cavani went off after 13 minutes with what appeared to be a groin strain and Mbappe left the field midway through the second half clutching his left hamstring.
PSG, who became the first team to score in 41 successive Ligue 1 games, threatened to overrun their opponents as Reynet twice denied Mbappe in the opening five minutes.
Mbappe also came close in the 20th minute but, by that time, Toulouse had their defence organised and were beginning to frustrate the hosts.
Mbappe saw another header saved by Reynet at the start of the second half before Choupo-Moting, who replaced Cavani, sprang into action.
The former Hamburg SV, Schalke 04 and Stoke City player collected the ball on the edge of the area, twisted and turned between four defenders and fired a shot in off the post.
That opened the floodgates and five minutes later, Di Maria crossed from the left, Pablo Sarabia flicked it back across goal and 18-year-old Goncalves, making his professional debut, turned an attempted clearance into the net.
It turned into even more of a nightmare for Goncalves as he tripped and handled the ball in the area, giving away an unlucky penalty, but Reynet came to his rescue by saving Di Maria’s spot kick.
Choupo-Moting then sidefooted the third after PSG carved open the Toulouse defence down the left and Marquinhos completed the rout with a bullet header from a Di Maria cross.
Earlier, goals in each half from Clement Grenier and Mbaye Niang gave Rennes a 2-0 win at Strasbourg as they went top with nine points from three games.
(Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ian Chadband)