Paris Saint-Germain were 5-1 winners over FC Lorient in Ligue 1 on Sunday, remaining 12 points clear at the summit in the domestic league. But the home support was mute at Parc des Princes as Neymar (twice), Kylian Mbappe (also twice) and Lionel Messi found the back of the net.
Weeks after their humiliating UEFA Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid, Les Parisiens’ hardcore support continued to protest their own players and those in charge of the club by going essentially on strike and providing no atmosphere.
It made little difference early on with Mauricio Pochettino’s men quickly taking control of the contest with Neymar slotting home from an Mbappe assist after just 12 minutes after Lorient had made a decent start with Terem Moffi looking lively. Just before the half hour mark, Mbappe doubled the hosts lead when he was teed up by Idrissa Gueye for what is swiftly becoming a trademark finish and that was enough to send PSG into a halftime lead against their relegation-threatened visitors.
Complacency set in early in the second half, though, with a mix-up between Marquinhos and Gianluigi Donnarumma gifting the industrious Moffi and Les Merlus a not undeserved lifeline with the easiest of finishes.
Neymar and Mbappe wowed those in attendance with some neat touches, but it was largely pedestrian stuff from PSG despite their recent sluggish form after this season’s continental quest came to a crashing halt.
Ultimately, Lorient were unable to find a way to level the game and there was rarely enough urgency from the capital outfit to find an extra gear after falling behind, but the win keeps them comfortable at the summit while Christophe Pelissier’s men will feel confident that they can stave off relegation.
Mbappe added PSG’s third goal midway through the half with another individual piece of magic which further underlines the hosts’ reliance on the French superstar for pretty much everything good which they produce, and he conjured something from nothing to lay on number four for Messi.
Neymar added a delightful second of his own late on to make it 5-1 with Mbappe again involved for his fifth contribution, but the Brazilian’s flashes of sublime ability have come too late to save anything meaningful from what remains an underwhelming campaign for player and club.
The cold shoulder from PSG’s ultras is likely to continue for some time still until the club can start enacting some meaningful changes which likely will not be announced until a record-tying 10th Ligue 1 title is confirmed.
Until then, it will probably continue to feel like a procession of semi-competitive outings with Pochettino one of those highly likely to be entering his final few months at Parc des Princes ahead of a clear out this summer.
Sergio Ramos’ late cameo suggests that he will continue to try to salvage something of his time in France, but the tide is very much against him given that the season is effectively over just as he is returning to action.
However, Mbappe has opened the door to remaining in Paris past the end of this term with his post-match comments suggesting that he could yet extend his contract with PSG.
“I have not made my choice on the future and everyone knows that,” he said. “I am thinking and there are new elements and a lot of parameters. If I had made my decision, I would have announced it. Yes, of course, staying with PSG is possible.”