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Folarin Balogun on target as PSG rout Monaco in Ligue 1

Ousmane Dembele scored his first Paris Saint-Germain goal in stunning fashion as the reigning French champions crushed Monaco 5-2 in Ligue 1 on Friday to…

Ousmane Dembele scored his first Paris Saint-Germain goal in stunning fashion as the reigning French champions crushed Monaco 5-2 in Ligue 1 on Friday to cement their lead at the top of the table.

Goncalo Ramos opened the scoring early on for PSG but a howler by home goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma gifted Takumi Minamino the equaliser soon after.

However, Kylian Mbappe’s penalty against his former club restored PSG’s lead and two superb goals in the space of three second-half minutes by Dembele and Vitinha put the game out of sight.

Folarin Balogun pulled another back for Monaco but substitute Randal Kolo Muani put the seal on PSG’s win in stoppage time.

Paris have now won seven and drawn one of their last eight Ligue 1 games and this result moved them four points clear of second-placed Nice, who are in action on Sunday. Monaco remain third but are six points adrift of the leaders.

“The most important thing was the attitude shown by the players after the international break,” said PSG coach Luis Enrique.

“We had one day’s training, for one hour, to prepare for this game.”

The result, which was achieved despite captain Marquinhos and teenage midfield prodigy Warren Zaire-Emery both missing out through injury, was a boost for Luis Enrique’s team ahead of a crucial home Champions League clash with Newcastle United.

The Qatar-backed side could be at real risk of going out of Europe’s elite club competition in the group stage if they fail to win that match on Tuesday.

“Monaco are a team on the same level as us and also aspire to win the league, so it is a good result,” added Luis Enrique.

“We are going into a vital game against Newcastle and the best way to do that is to win, and all the better winning in that way.”

Marquinhos and Zaire-Emery were both injured on international duty and so there were notable starts for PSG here for Nordi Mukiele at left-back and for Fabian Ruiz in central midfield.

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