Kylian Mbappe inspires 10-man Paris St Germain victory at Le Havre
Hosts Le Havre at times came close to an equaliser, but instead saw their five-game unbeaten streak snapped.
Kylian Mbappe’s first-half strike helped lift 10-man Paris St Germain to a 2-0 victory at Le Havre after Gianluigi Donnarumma was sent off 10 minutes into the Ligue 1 contest.
Hosts Le Havre at times came close to an equaliser, but instead saw their five-game unbeaten streak snapped while making it five games in six without a goal.
Vitinha netted against the run of play in the 89th minute to seal the result for PSG, who have now won seven consecutive league matches for the first time since September 2021.
The result gave the league leaders a boost after Tuesday’s disappointing Champions League draw against Newcastle, with the Parisians now four points ahead of second-placed Nice.
Le Havre wasted a golden chance after the ball pinged around the 18-yard box before landing at the feet of Gautier Lloris, who would have netted an opener but for the quick reaction of Carlos Soler to clear off the line.
Then goalkeeper Donnarumma, already under scrutiny, completely misjudged a challenge on Josue Casimir and immediately saw red for a high boot.
On came Arnau Tenas to make his PSG debut, replacing forward Bradley Barcola, who boss Luis Enrique decided would be the necessary sacrifice.
The visitors would not be pinned back and Mbappe was first denied by a good save by Arthur Desmas with a left-footed effort but made no mistake with his second attempt, firing through three blue shirts from centre before the ball clipped the inside of the post and crossed in for a 23rd-minute opener.
Mbappe had the ball in the back of the net again before the break but the offside flag was raised, while Casimir could only watch agonisingly on when what should have been an equaliser sailed just wide of the post after finding himself in space inside the area.
Le Havre, desperate get something out of the man advantage, applied more pressure to begin the second half as Yassine Kechta forced Tenas to tip the ball over the crossbar, while Mohamed Bayo sent a weak effort into the arms of the replacement PSG goalkeeper.
Ousmane Dembele nearly doubled the Parisians’ advantage, his effort clipping the edge of the post before going wide, before Tenas saved Danilo Pereira from scoring an own goal after Bayo’s attempt took a deflection off the PSG defender.
Pereira would soon prevent substitute Nabil Alioui a chance at levelling, while the hosts showed off their own defensive prowess when Christopher Operi prevented a threatening Dembele from getting a decent shot away.
Alioui skied an effort then twice-tested Tenas, who was quick to react at his near post as the hosts desperately searched for an equaliser, Antoine Joujou side-footing the ball past the post before Alioui tried again.
But there was no coming back after Vitinha’s strike took a deflection off Lloris and in to cap off a disappointing ending to a once-promising afternoon for the hosts.