Cavani scores 2 as leader PSG coasts to 3-0 win against Nice
PARIS (AP) — Edinson Cavani continued his remarkable scoring form with two goals as unbeaten league leader Paris Saint-Germain beat lackluster Nice 3-0 on Friday.
Brazil star Neymar was suspended after being sent off in last Sunday’s 2-2 draw away to Marseille. It made little difference, especially with Cavani further underlining his importance.
Having netted a career-high 49 goals in all competitions last season, Cavani already has 11 league goals in 10 games and 15 in 13 overall.
PSG coach Unai Emery recalled Argentina winger Angel Di Maria and he set up Cavani’s goals, the second with a clever pass over the top of a static defense that is leaking goals.
Coach Lucien Favre’s side was the last team to beat PSG in the league, winning 3-1 at home on April 30, and also drew 2-2 away.
Nice finished third last season.
But this current side is bereft of confidence, and this loss was Nice’s seventh so far — four more than all last season.
Apart from one snapshot from striker Mario Balotelli, Nice made no impact at all in Paris.
While Favre’s side is drifting toward the relegation zone, PSG’s win moved it seven points clear of second-placed Monaco.
Nice goalkeeper Yoan Cardinale pulled out before kickoff and was replaced by Argentine Walter Benitez, who conceded after only three minutes. Di Maria whipped in a free kick from the left and Cavani met it with a diving header that Benitez fumbled at the near post.
Benitez made another mistake when he mistimed his run off his line as he tried to intercept Di Maria’s quick pass over the top, and Cavani poked the ball around him before tapping home.
Cavani’s cushioned header from left back Yuri Berchiche’s cross caused confusion and Nice center half Dante turned the ball into his own net in the 52nd — under pressure from Di Maria and right back Dani Alves.
Defending champion Monaco has a tough match away to Bordeaux on Saturday and must cope without Radamel Falcao, the league’s top scorer with 13 goals in nine games. The Colombia striker has muscle fatigue.
Keita Balde, who joined from Lazio and scored his first Monaco goal last weekend, is expected to lead the attack.