French football

Herrera bags a brace as PSG carve up Clermont to maintain perfect start

Ander Herrera scored twice in Paris Saint-Germain's 4-0 romp past Clermont Foot at the Parc des Princes.
Ander Herrera scored twice in Paris Saint-Germain's 4-0 romp past Clermont Foot at the Parc des Princes. REUTERS - CHRISTIAN HARTMANN

Ander Herrera struck twice on Saturday as Paris Saint-Germain made light of the absences of Lionel Messi, Angel Di Maria and Neymar to sweep past Clermont Foot 4-0.

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The Argentines and the Brazilian - who were on international duty in South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup last week - were not named in the squad for the fifth game of the season.

However, Kylian Mbappé, who injured his calf while playing for France in their qualifiers, recovered to lead the attack.

Though the Frenchman was expected to present the main offensive danger, it was the veteran midfielder Herrera who pierced the Clermont defence.

The 32-year-old Spain international headed home the opener after 20 minutes of PSG domination.

Ten minutes later he lashed in the second after Mbappé had tricked his way past Clermont defender Cedric Hountondji on the right hand side of the penalty area to slide in a pass into the goalmouth.

Clermont, who gained promotion from Ligue 2, came into the match at the Parc des Princes unbeaten and boasting eight points from their first four games in the top flight. 

Pascal Gastien's men were neat in possession but failed to ruffle the Parisian defenders nor unnerve Gigi Donnarumma who was making his debut after his arrival during the summer from AC Milan.

Over

Ten minutes after the pause, Mbappé hit his fourth goal of the season to effectively end the contest after a devastating counterattack following a Clermont corner.

The 23-year-old France international collected Julian Draxler's lofted pass to round goalkeeper Arthur Desmas and slot in.

Mbappé surprisingly squandered two chances to add to his tally. But another run at goal unhinged the Clermont rearguard and though Desmas saved his effort, Idrissa Gueye nodded in the rebound to make it 4-0.

It was the 16th goal of the season for Mauricio Pochettino's side who top the league with 15 points from their five games.

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