Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani (L), Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe and Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar celebrates following a goal during the French L1 football match between Metz (FCM) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on September 8, 2017 at the Saint-Symphorien stadium in Longeville-les-Metz, northeastern France. Patrick HERTZOG / AFP
Kylian Mbappe scored on his debut as Paris Saint-Germain eased to a 5-1 away thumping of 10-man Metz in Ligue 1 on Friday.
Neymar’s pin-point through ball created the opening goal for Edinson Cavani in the 31st minute, only for Emmanuel Riviere to head in an equaliser before half-time.
But the game was all but ended in the space of three second-half minutes, as Benoit Assou-Ekotto saw red for a lunge on Mbappe, before the youngster netted his debut strike.
PSG ran riot late on, with Neymar getting himself onto the scoresheet, Cavani stabbing in his second and Lucas Moura scoring the fifth.
The victory is PSG’s fifth in a row to start the Ligue 1 season, and takes them three points clear at the top of the fledgling table, ahead of champions Monaco, who play Nice on Saturday.
Mbappe was handed a starting spot on his debut after joining from Monaco on a season-long loan, with an option to buy for a fee that could reach 180 million euros ($216.5m).
Unai Emery’s visitors started firmly on the front foot, with Cavani clipping the ball onto the post when he had only home goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima to beat and full-back Thomas Meunier volleying wide.
The hosts held firm throughout the first half-hour and almost forged ahead when PSG keeper Alphonse Areola was confident enough to leave Riviere’s shot onto the post.
But the away side took the lead thanks to a moment of class from world-record signing Neymar.
The Brazilian threaded through a perfect pass with the outside of his foot for Mbappe and Cavani to run onto, with the latter rounding Kawashima and slotting in his sixth league goal of the season.
Mbappe, 18, continued to show his unselfish side with a wonderful cross for an unmarked Cavani, who was denied by a fantastic Kawashima save.
Metz delivered a sucker-punch eight minutes before the interval, as Mathieu Dossevi’s determination down the right-hand side created space for a cross that gave Riviere the simplest of tasks to nod in.
It was the former Monaco striker’s first Metz goal since ending his torrid spell at Newcastle United in the close season.
Kawashima continued his virtuoso display in the home goal with a wonderful low stop to deny Neymar his fourth goal in France, and PSG a half-time advantage.
Paris were desperately lucky not to fall behind soon after the restart, as Areola’s dreadful blunder handed Riviere a golden opportunity, but he somehow contrived to scoop it over the bar.
The capital-city giants were struggling early in the second half, until Assou-Ekotto’s sending off changed the game.
The Cameroonian left-back was shown a straight red card for a strong tackle on Mbappe, despite taking the ball before making contact with the player.
Unperturbed, Mbappe picked himself up and duly put PSG back in front with his first goal of the campaign.
A cross was only half-cleared as far as the world’s second-most expensive player, and he rifled home a clinical volley from the edge of the area.
Cavani went close to a third from a routine long ball over the top, but his volley rattled the crossbar before bouncing on the goalline and away to safety.
Neymar made no such mistake though, as he collected the ball unchallenged outside the area and casually curled the ball into the far corner of Kawashima’s net.
And Cavani prodded in a trademark effort from close range to complete a brace with 15 minutes to play, before a ricochet gave substitute Lucas a goal on his first appearance of the season.
Elsewhere on Friday, Marcelo Bielsa’s Lille were reduced to 10 men and held to a goalless draw at home by Bordeaux.