Blue-haired Mbappe helps PSG keep pace with Lille

PARIS (AFP) – Kylian Mbappe scored a penalty as Paris Saint-Germain cruised to a 2-0 win over 10-man Lorient on Wednesday, keeping the reigning champions just one point behind Lille ahead of their visit to the leaders this weekend.

Mbappe’s second-half penalty, when Andrew Gravillon was sent off, and Moise Kean’s strike helped PSG to victory after Lille, who host the Champions League runners-up on Sunday, beat Dijon by the same scoreline.

Lyon dropped to third place, a point behind PSG, after a dramatic 2-2 draw with Brest.

Marseille, who have two games in hand on the top three, slipped five points behind the leaders after a 2-1 defeat at Rennes.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel after the game said that Neymar, who sprained his ankle last Sunday against Lyon, could return this weekend.

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring during their French L1 football match against FC Lorient at The Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on December 16. PHOTO: AFP

PSG had 81 per cent of possession in the first half against struggling Lorient without creating many clear-cut chances, with Lorient’s Teremas Moffi wasting the best opportunity of the opening period when he fired wide when clean through on goal.

But the match was effectively decided less than five minutes after the break, as visiting full-back Gravillon was harshly sent off for a nudge on Mbappe in the box.

The forward, sporting a striking new blue hairstyle, stepped up to power the spot-kick into the bottom corner.

It took Tuchel’s men 10 more minutes to secure victory, with Rafinha setting up Kean to grab his eighth goal since joining PSG on loan from Everton in the close season.