March 10, 2018 / 6:25 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer: PSG thrash struggling Metz after European exit

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris St Germain got back to business in Ligue 1 after being knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid in midweek, hammering basement club Metz 5-0 at home and stretching their lead at the top of the standings back to 14 points.

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain vs FC Metz - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - March 10, 2018 Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Silva and team mates applaud fans after the match REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Belgium defender Thomas Meunier struck the first goal in the fifth minute, while 20-year-old midfielder Christopher Nkunku scored twice in quick succession to make it three goals in two league starts this season.

France forward Kylian Mbappe hit PSG’s fourth in first half stoppage time, while captain Thiago Silva completed the rout with a towering header from a corner in the 82nd minute.

PSG coach Unai Emery was booed when his name was read out before kickoff as the home supporters aired their grievances at a second consecutive last 16 Champions League elimination under the Spaniard. They still packed the Parc des Princes for the visit of rock bottom Metz.

Top scorer Edinson Cavani was suspended for the game and Emery made five changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Real Madrid, giving French youngster Nkunku a second consecutive league start this campaign after he scored in last week’s 2-0 win at Troyes.

Nkunku snuck into the box and slammed the ball into the net with his left foot in the 20th minute then struck again in the 28th with his other foot, placing the ball into the far corner. He was denied a hat-trick goal before the interval for offside.

PSG lead the standings on 77 points after 29 games, 14 clear of nearest challengers and champions AS Monaco, who won 3-1 at Strasbourg on Friday. Metz are bottom with 20 points, nine adrift of safety.

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Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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