Soccer-PSG sail into last 16 as Kurzawa nets hat trick in rout of Anderlecht
PARIS (Reuters) - Paris St Germain qualified for the Champions League last 16 in emphatic fashion when they extended their perfect Group B record with a 5-0 home win against Anderlecht on Tuesday, with fullback Layvin Kurzawa scoring a hat-trick.
Neymar, back in the team after being sent off during the French ‘classic’ against Olympique de Marseille nine days ago, scored the second goal on the stroke of halftime after Marco Verratti’s opener, with Kurzawa completing the scoreline after the interval.
PSG have 12 points from four games and lead Bayern Munich, who beat Celtic 2-1 away, by three points.
Celtic have three points and Anderlecht have none, both clubs being eliminated from Europe’s premium club competition.
PSG have scored 17 goals in the campaign and conceded none while Anderlecht have yet to net one.
Providing they each win their next game, PSG and Bayern will battle it out for top spot in the final round of matches in December.
“It’s always a pleasure to score,” said Verratti after his second goal in 40 Champions League appearances.
”After scoring the first goal we played more freely and managed to secure a nice team victory. Everybody contributed, with notably the strikers helping with the defensive tasks.
“We also managed to play fast, which is always important against teams who come here to sit back and wait.”
“I scored thanks to my team mates’ work. I needed that confidence boost,” said Kurzawa. “Now I need to continue to work and further improve.”
PSG dominated from the outset but Kylian Mbappe’s early strike from inside the box was blocked by Frank Boeckx.
The France forward, however, found Verratti in the area on the half-hour for the Italy midfielder to fire the ball into the far corner.
It was a deserved lead for PSG, who doubled their tally four minutes into stoppage time in the first half when Neymar’s 20-metre strike went past Boeckx.
Neymar’s free kick bounced on to the post and into the path of Kurzawa, who poked home the ball seven minutes into the second half.
The fullback made it 4-0 with a diving header in the 72nd and added his personal third six minutes later with a low shot after being set up by Angel Di Maria.
PSG next take on Celtic while Bayern travel to Anderlecht on Nov. 22.
Editing by Clare Fallon
Source: Reuters Sport