Leaders Paris Saint-Germain crushed Auxerre 5-0 with four second-half goals in Ligue 1 on Sunday to go into the mid-season World Cup break with a five-point lead over second-placed Lens.
PSG took an early lead through Kylian Mbappe after Lionel Messi found Nuno Mendes with a lob. The wing-back’s cutback was fired home by the France international, who became the league’s outright top scorer this season with his 12th goal.
Although PSG scored only once before the break, they were in complete control from start to finish without exerting too much energy, with players set to join their national teams for the World Cup, which kicks off in Qatar next Sunday.
PSG was in control and dominated possession but failed to score a second before the break. At the same time, the visitors’ best chance fell to Senegal international striker M’Baye Niang, whose shot was blocked well by goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The home side’s second goal was headed home by Spanish midfielder Carlos Soler in the 56th minute. Mendes was the architect as he went on a mazy run into the box, dribbling past three players before looping in an inviting cross for Soler.
Auxerre pressed forward to try to reduce the deficit, and PSG duly punished their high line when Achraf Hakimi was released on goal by Soler, with the Morocco international outpacing the last defender and slipping the ball past keeper Benoit Costil before the hour.
With PSG in cruise control, Galtier withdrew Messi and Neymar, keeping in mind their injury history and the World Cup on the horizon.