Kylian Mbappe has become the youngest player ever to score 50 goals from Ligue 1 after beating twice the comfortable 3-0 on Paris Saint-Germain against Nimes that has strengthened the taking of champions on the French title. Mbappe scored 69th and 89th while PSG extended the lead on Lille in second place to 17 points after the 1-1 draw of the north team in Strasbourg on Friday, and tore the record to Yannick Stopyra, who according to football statistics database Opta was 21 years old, 11 months and nine days when he reached his 50th record in 1982. "I work every day to try and help my team as much as possible," said Mbappe at Canal + after the victory. "Football is still fun for me, and scoring goals and records is what drives me, so I'm very happy." The 40th strike of Christopher Nkunku, who arrived after a wonderfully chipped pass by Marco Verratti, made the ball turn to Thomas Tuchel's team against mid-table Nimes, who saw goalkeeper Paul Bernadoni and the poor PSG finish – in particular from Mbappe – to thank for not having beaten even more heavily at the Parc de Princes.
Missing injured members Edinson Cavani and Neymar, Mbappe would have had to put the hosts ahead eight minutes before the opening of Nkunku, when somehow he hit Bernadoni with his leg stretched instead of at the back of the net when he let pass a sumptuous passage Verratti. The Mbappe World Cup winner thought he slipped into the second with his hand just before the interval, only to be punched instead of going into action with Thiago Silva from the video assistant system and booked for his problems.
The twenty-year-old appeared on a personal mission to break the record in the second half but first cut from the left and fired just eight minutes after the restart, before his shot from Marquinhos's past was brilliantly rejected by Bernadoni. He somehow took advantage of the score an hour after loading on a low cross from the left before finally making his half-century – and doubling the advantage of the PSG – almost exactly the same way nine minutes later, meeting the Juan Bernat's cut with a nice first shot. And the Frenchman made the result even more emphatic when he finished a lightning break started by Nkunku to bring his championship spoils for the season to 22 and his total career to 51.
Published in the Daily Times, February 25th 2019.