Football

Mbappe scores as sub to help PSG see off Nantes

Paris: Kylian Mbappe came off the bench and scored a penalty as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nantes 2-0 on Saturday after the France captain informed the club this week he plans to leave at the end of the season.

Lucas Hernandez's deflected strike broke the deadlock on the hour at the Stade de la Beaujoire before Mbappe made sure of the points after he was fouled inside the area.

PSG stretched their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 14 points with a record-extending 12th title surely now a formality after Nice suffered a fifth loss in nine games Friday.

The main talking point in Paris though will be the future of Mbappe, who is seemingly entering the final months of a seven-year stint with the French champions.

The 25-year-old has told club officials he intends to depart on a free transfer when his contract expires, and has been widely tipped to move to Real Madrid.

It is understood that Mbappe's exit will be formally announced in a few months' time.

"It's all going very well with Mbappe, there's no problem," PSG coach Luis Enrique told Canal Plus after the game.

PSG toiled for an hour without the league's top scorer as Mbappe, who struck in the 2-0 win over Real Sociedad in the Champions League in midweek, started on the bench in Nantes.

"It's very easy yet difficult to explain," Luis Enrique said of the decision to leave Mbappe out of the line-up.

"After our Champions League match two days ago I thought we needed energy to play well and that it was necessary to give minutes to those who didn't play (on Wednesday).

"We have ambitious goals and we need all the players."

Nantes had the clearer chances in the first half, Mostafa Mohamed denied by Gianluigi Donnarumma's foot and Nicolas Cozza thwarted by a desperate Marquinhos block.

Nicolas Pallois' volley was ruled out for offside just before the break, with his dipping long-range drive tipped over by Donnarumma early in the second half.

PSG benefited from a considerable degree of good fortune to go in front as Hernandez's shot hit Moussa Sissoko and left Nantes goalkeeper Remy Descamps stranded.

Mbappe, introduced straight after along with Ousmane Dembele and Achraf Hakimi, needed little time to make his mark.

He drew a foul from Douglas Augusto and converted from the spot for his 21st league goal in 20 games this season, extending PSG's unbeaten away run to 18 matches.

Elsewhere, Jonathan David bagged a hat-trick as Lille swept Le Havre aside 3-0 to move into third place, one point behind Nice.

After a slow start to the campaign, the Canada international now has 11 goals – striking nine times in his past 10 games.

Monaco could climb to second on Sunday when they play Toulouse, while Brest take on Gennaro Gattuso's reeling Marseille who are without a win in five games.

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