Updated March 18th, 2024 at 09:01 IST

Kylian Mbappe scores hat trick as PSG routs Montpellier 6-2 to take 12-point lead in French league

Kylian Mbappé has scored a hat trick as Paris Saint-Germain routed Montpellier 6-2 to move 12 points clear of Brest at the top of the French league.

Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring his side's opening goal during the Champions League round of 16 second leg soccer match between Real Sociedad and PSG, at the Reala Arena stadium | Image: AP
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Kylian Mbappé scored a hat trick as Paris Saint-Germain routed Montpellier 6-2 to move 12 points clear of Brest at the top of the French league on Sunday.

Mbappe struck in the 22nd minute before adding two more goals in the second half. His third strike — a half-volley after a blistering run — was his 250th goal for PSG in all competitions since his arrival in August 2017. He is the leading scorer in the league this season with 24 goals.

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Vitinha had opened the scoring and Lee Kang-in and Nuno Mendes also scored for PSG. It was the first league victory in four league games for PSG after draws with Reims, Monaco and Rennes.

Montpellier had fought back from 2-0 down to reach halftime at 2-2, thanks to a header from Arnaud Nordin and Teji Savanier’s penalty kick, before being overwhelmed by speed and skill in the second half.

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With eight rounds of matches left, PSG has 59 points, Brest has 47 and Monaco 46.

Montpellier is 14th.

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Mbappé had returned to the starting lineup Wednesday when he scored an early goal as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nice 3-1 to reach the French Cup semifinals. He had started the previous two league games on the bench as part of coach Luis Enrique’s rotation policy, which most observers accept involves leaving out Mbappé to prepare for next season without him. He started Sunday.

A late goal by Martin Satriano salvaged a point for Brest in a 1-1 draw against Lille but Eric Roy’s side will rue the dropped points. Lille, which took the lead through Jonathan David’s strike in the 67th minute, leapfrogged Nice into fourth, four points behind Brest.

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Monaco moved up to third after a 2-2 draw with Lorient that saw two own-goals and two red cards. Lorient went ahead after Wilfried Singo’s own-goal in the opening minute before Monaco leveled through Formose Mendy’s own-goal in the 27th. Youssouf Fofana put Monaco ahead on the hour mark but Tiemoue Bakayoko snatched an equalizer in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Monaco’s Denis Zakaria and Lorient’s Tosin Aiyegun were sent off in the 81st and 89th minutes, respectively.

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Martin Terrier scored his sixth league goal in eight games as Rennes beat Marseille 2-0. Benjamin Bourigeaud scored from the penalty spot.

Also Sunday, Clermont beat Le Havre 2-1 and Reims defeated Metz 2-1.

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Published March 18th, 2024 at 09:01 IST