PARIS: A superb Neymar free-kick helped Paris Saint-Germain to a 3-0 win at troubled Lille on Saturday as the Ligue 1 leaders began a decisive month as they mean to go on.
The world’s most expensive player netted the second goal at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy after Yuri Berchiche had opened the scoring just prior to half-time.
Giovani Lo Celso’s delightful chip secured the victory late on, with PSG now 11 points clear of Marseille at the top of the table.
PSG have won 12 of their last 13 games in all competitions, including four in a row since a 2-1 defeat at Lyon last month.
Their season-defining Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid is fast approaching, with the first leg to come in the Spanish capital on February 14.
“The best preparation for the match in Madrid is to be competitive in every match and work on the things that we can improve,” said PSG coach Unai Emery.
He will hope to have the likes of Adrien Rabiot, Julian Draxler and Thiago Motta back fit for that game, while Kylian Mbappe will almost certainly start at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The teenage France forward was absent on Saturday due to suspension after being sent off in the 3-2 League Cup semi-final win at Rennes in midweek.
“A lot of things can still happen. I cannot say today who is going to play in Madrid, that is impossible. I just hope the best is still to come,” added Emery, whose team have a French Cup tie at Sochaux to come on Tuesday.