Round 2 review: Mbappé returns for PSG, Monaco go top – LFP

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Mbappé returns but PSG held
 
Mbappé had watched PSG’s season opener – a goalless draw with FC Lorient at the Parc des Princes last Saturday – from the stands, but he was folded back into the first-team picture in midweek and took his place among the substitutes for the visit to Toulouse.
 
Luis Enrique introduced Mbappé for Kang-in Lee six minutes after the restart, and little more than 10 minutes later he was on target, converting a penalty that he had earned from Rasmus Nicolaisen. Toulouse replied three minutes from time, though, with Zakaria Aboukhlal scoring a spot-kick of his own to rescue a 1-1 draw.
 
“He’s an extraordinary player, we all know that,” said Lucas Hernandez of his France teammate. “It’s a pride to be able to play with him, we get along very well. We’re hoping that this year he’ll help us on the pitch because he’s a very, very important player for PSG.”


Ousmane Dembélé, a recent arrival from Barcelona, was also brought on at the same time as Mbappé, and Enrique is pleased to be able to call upon two of the best attacking players in the game.

 

“Mbappé and Dembélé are world-class players,” he said. “They were both very good and created chances.

 


 
“Mbappé and Dembélé are world-class players,” he said. “They were both very good and created chances.
“[Dembélé’s first minutes] were very positive. He’s a player who creates imbalances and knows how to make the difference in 1v1s. He is able to eliminate players easily, which creates opportunities. He lacks a bit of rhythm for now but I thought he was very good.”
 
Minamino stars as Monaco rout Strasbourg
 
Takumi Minamino was the star of the show as AS Monaco made it two wins from two, beating Chelsea-backed Strasbourg 3-0 at the Stade Louis II on Sunday evening – a fixture that had been postponed due to a heatwave in the area.
 
The former Liverpool man opened the scoring midway through the first half with a low shot across Matz Sels, and bagged a brace before the half was out after getting on the end of a Caio Henrique cross. He then turned provider for Wissam Ben Yedder as Adi Hutter’s men ran out 3-0 winners.


The win sent Monaco top of Ligue 1 Uber Eats on six points – level with Brest but with a plus-five goal-difference compared to les Pirates’ plus-two.
“I’d like to congratulate the team for a well-deserved victory,” Hutter said. “We controlled the game for 90 minutes. I was also impressed by the atmosphere at the Stade Louis II. Mopre than 10,000 fans were pushing us on, and that was important.
 
“We can’t get carried away, though – we’ve only played two games so far!”
 
Brest make it two from two, too
 
Brest only finished 14th of 20 teams last season, but they have got off to a flier in the current campaign, building upon their shock opening day 3-2 win over last season’s runners-up RC Lens with a 2-1 win at promoted Le Havre AC.


Romain Del Castillo opened the scoring with his third goal of the season, and first from open play, before Daler Kuzyayev replied, but Lilian Brassier had the final say with header from a Del Castillo corner.
“The players had told me they would be able to get six points from four matches,” said a delighted Éric Roy after his charges collected that many in half the time.
 
Lens lose focus
 
Lens are back in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in 21 years this season, but they’ve got off to a poor start domestically, losing to Brest before drawing 1-1 with Stade Rennais FC on Sunday.


Deiver Machado got them off to a flying start, thumping home from the edge of the box after a corner, and Franck Haise’s side dominated for large periods. Rennes didn’t have a shot on target from open play for the first hour, but they equalised from the penalty spot with Benjamin Bourigeaud converting.
It was the first time in in seven games that Lens had failed to score at least two goals in a game. Loïs Openda, now of RB Leipzig, has left a gap in their attack, but that is set to be filled by Elye Wahi, who is joining from Montpellier Hérault SC.
 
Blanc slate?
 
The pressure continues to mount on Laurent Blanc at Olympique Lyonnais, meanwhile. Les Gones welcomed Montpellier to their Groupama Stadium for Saturday’s early kick-off and duly lost 4-1.


Wahi was left out of Montpellier’s matchday squad but Musa Al-Taamari looks ready to pick up the goalscoring mantle after joining from Belgian side OH Leuven, scoring a first-half double after Arnaud Nordin had got the ball rolling for the visitors.
Alexandre Lacazette pulled one back but was then sent off for pushing Montpellier captain Téji Savanier, and la Paillade added insult to injury late on when Akor Adams made it four.
 
Jonathan David downs Nantes
 
LOSC were frustrated for long periods again FC Nantes but finally broke the deadlock at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy past the hour when Jonathan David got the break of the ball in the box to bag his first goal of the season. Adam Ounas curled home an impressive second in injury-time.


Marseille off the hook
Olympique de Marseille took an early lead at FC Metz with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang teeing up Emran Soglo for his first senior OM goal. Cheikh Sabaly and Georges Mikautadze – who scored 23 on Metz’s promotion campaign – looked to have given the hosts the points, but Vitinha grabbed an equaliser eight minutes from time.


Dogged Lorient deny Nice
FC Lorient are beginning to look like a surprise package at this early stage of the season. Les Merlus held champions PSG on the opening day and after Evann Guessand had given OGC Nice the lead at the Stade du Moustoir on Sunday, Siriné Doucouré rescued a share of the spoils.


Reims bounce back
Having been edged 2-1 by Marseille in Round 1, Champagne club Stade de Reims re-found their fizz against Clermont Foot 63. Last season’s top scorer Folarin Balogun has returned to Arsenal, but Marshall Munetsi and Mohamed Daramy picked up the goalscoring mantle in a 2-0 win.

 
STADE DE REIMS – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (0-3) / Highlights (SdR – PSG) 2023/2024
Goal Simon ELISOR (28' – FCM) / FC METZ – FC NANTES (3-1) / 23/24
Goal Ui Jo HWANG (11') / FC GIRONDINS DE BORDEAUX – ANGERS SCO (2-1)/ 2020/2021
HAVRE AC – AS MONACO (0-0) / Highlights (HAC – ASM) 2023/2024
OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE – LOSC LILLE (0-0) / Highlights (OM – LOSC) 2023/2024
RC LENS – OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE (1-0) / Highlights (RCL – OM) 2023/2024
Best goals – Tony Vairelles
Goal Joël Joshoghene ASORO (85' – FCM) / FC METZ – FC NANTES (3-1) / 23/24
Goal Ui-Jo HWANG (18') / Paris Saint-Germain – Girondins de Bordeaux (4-3) / 2019/2020
Goal Kevin VAN DEN KERKHOF (3' – FCM) / FC METZ – FC NANTES (3-1) / 23/24
Goal Kylian MBAPPE (3' – PSG) / STADE DE REIMS – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (0-3) / 23/24
Goal Jake Patrick O'BRIEN (67' – OL) / STADE RENNAIS FC – OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS (0-1) / 23/24
Goal Ui Jo HWANG (8') / FC GIRONDINS DE BORDEAUX – ANGERS SCO (2-1)/ 2020/2021
LOSC LILLE – TOULOUSE FC (1-1) / Highlights (LOSC – TFC) 2023/2024
CLERMONT FOOT 63 – FC LORIENT (1-0) / Highlights (CF63 – FCL) 2023/2024
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN – AS MONACO (1-1) / Highlights (PSG – ASM) 2022/2023
STADE RENNAIS FC – OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS (0-1) / Highlights (SRFC – OL) 2023/2024
FC NANTES – MONTPELLIER HÉRAULT SC (2-0) / Highlights (FCN – MHSC) 2023/2024
Goal Ui Jo HWANG (45') / DIJON FCO – FC GIRONDINS DE BORDEAUX (1-3)/ 2020/2021
Goal Moses SIMON (12' – FCN) / FC METZ – FC NANTES (3-1) / 23/24

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