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Lionel Messi scores a brilliant assists hat-trick for PSG

Lionel Messi now has 14 assists this season. (Author: Gardener)

Lionel MessiLionel Messi is finding his form again at Paris Saint-Germain and delivered a spectacular performance in the 6-1 away win at Clermont Foot, registering three assists while fellow superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe each recorded a hat-trick. Messi was initially criticized in the first months after his shock arrival from Barcelona but now has eight goals and 14 assists in 28 games in all competitions. His first assist against Clermont Foot gave the visitors a 1-0 lead with just five minutes left when his through ball caught Neymar in the penalty area, who smashed the ball into the bottom corner. Kylian Mbappe then scored 2-0 15 minutes later after a sensational move. Neymar sent the ball to Messi, who controlled with his chest and played a perfect pass to the France international, who finished with ease. Messi then assisted Mbappe's hat-trick goal by bringing the ball forward following Neymar's flick before sending the ball on the edge of the box to Mbappe, who scored with a stunning finish to make it 5-1. This trio of skillful stars were eagerly awaited when Messi joined Paris and finally delivered the hype, but arguably too late as PSG failed to progress past the Champions League round of 16. "The connection on the field with Messi and Neymar, it's a shame it's only happening now," Mbappe told Canal Plus France after the win. "I have already answered the question whether Neymar or Messi can influence my decision or not," Mbappe added. Nonetheless, all three were in splendid form against Clermont Foot and Messi looked back on a glorious best time. The Clermont players are furious as they think there should have been a foul in the build but the goal stands! pic.twitter.com/WLLRTh27WI The Messi assist and the Mbappe finish, wow! pic.twitter.com/QgcMMXE3uS And there's Mbappe's hat trick. Look how happy he is at the celebrations! pic.twitter.com/k1Ma34XvYl

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Hat-tricks for Neymar and Mbappe in PSG win

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe both scored hat-tricks against Clermont as Paris St-Germain extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 15 points. (Author: Gardener)

NeymarNeymar and Kylian Mbappe both scored hat-tricks against Clermont as Paris St-Germain extended their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 15 points. The superstar pair gave the visitors a two-goal lead within 20 minutes, but Jodel Dossou's strike reduced the deficit. A Neymar penalty and Mbappe's second of the night made it 4-1 before the Frenchman completed his treble with a curling finish. Brazil international Neymar snagged his third goal late in the evening.

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Neymar calls Messi and Mbappe 'geniuses' after PSG trio's spectacular win

Neymar praised his "extraordinary" teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe after he and Mbappe both scored hat-tricks in the 6-1 win over Clermont. (Author: Gardener)

NeymarNeymar celebrated his hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappe and Paris Saint-Germain backed King Lionel Messi as 'geniuses' after beating Clermont 6-1. The Brazilian also reiterated Mbappe's verdict that it was a 'shame' that the superstar trio couldn't get together more often this season. Messi provided three assists in the Ligue 1 leaders' rampant away win on Saturday night, becoming the first player to have three assists on two separate occasions in France's top flight since Opta began data for the 2006/07 competition, having previously had given three assists goals against Saint-Etienne in November. The former Barcelona captain averaged an impressive 0.73 assists per 90 minutes on the pitch in his debut season in Ligue 1, a team best. Meanwhile, the trebles scored by Mbappe and Neymar meant they became the first Ligue 1 team-mates to score hat-tricks in the same game since Mbappe and Edinson Cavani did so against Guingamp in January 2019. Speaking of which, after scoring double-digit Ligue 1 goals this season, Neymar was delighted with PSG's performance and said the relationship between the top three is improving with every game. "I'm really happy to have scored my first hat-trick of the season," said Neymar. The win was just the 14th time in all competitions that all three attackers have started together this season, prompting Mbappe to say it's a 'shame' that PSG fans have had to wait until now to see them regularly to see perform together. "Unfortunately everyone only got pretty much 100 per cent at the end of the season," Neymar told Ligue 1's official website. "It's a shame but I'm really happy with everything we're showing on the pitch. The last 11 Goals from PSG in Ligue 1 have been scored by Mbappe (five), Neymar (five) or Messi (one) and Mauricio Pochettino's men are." Neymar has now scored against 24 of his 25 opponents in Ligue 1, excluding Brest, and the treble was his first since January 2018 when he scored four goals against Dijon.

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Neymar calls Messi and Mbappe 'geniuses' after PSG trio's spectacular win

Neymar praised his "extraordinary" teammates Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe after he and Mbappe both scored hat-tricks in the 6-1 win over Clermont. (Author: Gardener)

NeymarNeymar celebrated his hat-trick hero Kylian Mbappe and Paris Saint-Germain backed King Lionel Messi as 'geniuses' after beating Clermont 6-1. The Brazilian also reiterated Mbappe's verdict that it was a 'shame' that the superstar trio couldn't get together more often this season. Messi provided three assists in the Ligue 1 leaders' rampant away win on Saturday night, becoming the first player to have three assists on two separate occasions in France's top flight since Opta began data for the 2006/07 competition, having previously had given three assists goals against Saint-Etienne in November. The former Barcelona captain averaged an impressive 0.73 assists per 90 minutes on the pitch in his debut season in Ligue 1, a team best. Meanwhile, the trebles scored by Mbappe and Neymar meant they became the first Ligue 1 team-mates to score hat-tricks in the same game since Mbappe and Edinson Cavani did so against Guingamp in January 2019. Speaking of which, after scoring double-digit Ligue 1 goals this season, Neymar was delighted with PSG's performance and said the relationship between the top three is improving with every game. "I'm really happy to have scored my first hat-trick of the season," said Neymar. The win was just the 14th time in all competitions that all three attackers have started together this season, prompting Mbappe to say it's a 'shame' that PSG fans have had to wait until now to see them regularly to see perform together. "Unfortunately everyone only got pretty much 100 per cent at the end of the season," Neymar told Ligue 1's official website. "It's a shame but I'm really happy with everything we're showing on the pitch. The last 11 Goals from PSG in Ligue 1 have been scored by Mbappe (five), Neymar (five) or Messi (one) and Mauricio Pochettino's men are." Neymar has now scored against 24 of his 25 opponents in Ligue 1, excluding Brest, and the treble was his first since January 2018 when he scored four goals against Dijon.

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Mbappe and Neymar score hat-tricks as PSG roll over Clermont

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar both scored hat-tricks as Paris Saint-Germain edged Clermont 6-1 on Saturday to move closer to winning Ligue 1. Mbappe, who has yet to decide if he will stay at PSG beyond this season, scored twice and had three assists in last weekend's 5-1 win over Lorient. (Author: Gardener)

NeymarKylian Mbappe and Neymar both scored hat-tricks as Paris Saint-Germain edged Clermont 6-1 on Saturday to move closer to winning Ligue 1. Mbappe, who has yet to decide if he will stay at PSG beyond this season, scored twice and had three assists in last weekend's 5-1 win over Lorient. He added another assist in that game and won a penalty as he rose to the top of Ligue 1's scorer chart this season with 20 goals. Mauricio Pochettino's men are now 15 points clear of second-placed Rennes and look set to reclaim the title with just seven games left. Clermont remains in 17th place, just a point ahead of Saint-Etienne, who occupy the relegation play-off spot. PSG have only Ligue 1 left to play this season after Real Madrid were eliminated from the Champions League but put in a second impressive performance with Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi in fine form. “The Messi-Neymar-Mbappe combination? The ball eventually found its way to Messi, whose clever pass found Neymar and the Brazilian drilled the ball into the far corner. The champions-elect doubled their lead within 20 minutes as Messi collected his 12th league assist of the season. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner volleyed the ball through to Mbappe, who slotted it past oncoming goalkeeper Arthur Desmas. But Clermont gave hope for an unlikely comeback just before half-time when Jodel Dossou landed on the back post to end a good team move. But with 20 minutes to go the game ended in a one-on-one when Mbappe was brought down in the penalty area after a quick counterattack by Akim Zedadka and sent Neymar Desmas the wrong way from the penalty spot. Mbappe scored his second goal just minutes later, racing on Neymar's brilliant pass to circle and tap Desmas. PSG's fearsome front three scored the fifth goal when Neymar's rebound caught Messi, who played into Mbappe to put in a great strike into the far corner. The away side scored four goals in 12 minutes with seven minutes remaining as Neymar completed his first hat-trick since December 2020. Earlier on Saturday, Rennes moved up to second ahead of Marseille as a 3-2 win at Reims gave a boost to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League. The top two will automatically qualify for next season's Champions League group stage, while the third-placed will advance to the qualifying rounds. Rennes have won six of their last seven league games to enter the competition, while Nice have slipped from the top three to fifth after a poor result streak.

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Mbappe and Neymar score hat-tricks in emphatic six-goal win

Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar are in Ligue 1 action for Paris Saint-Germain, with Mauricio Pochettino's side getting closer to the French title for the first time since 2020. (Author: Gardener)

NeymarKylian Mbappe and Neymar both scored hat-tricks as Paris Saint-Germain extended a 15-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 with a convincing 6-1 home win over Clermont. The result means the Parc des Princes team are within reach of lifting the French title at home against Montpellier on Sunday. PSG needed just six points to open the scoring when Neymar netted from a flipper in the Clermont box and Messi set the Brazilian up. Mbappe grabbed his first of the night and PSG's second of the game. After 19 minutes, he ran to overtake the keeper after an excellent pass from Messi on the edge of the box. MORE: Mbappe, Neymar and Messi all score for the first time in the same game for PSG Clermont gave each other a lifeline late in the first half when Jodel followed Dossou at the back post to convert from close range after Saif-Eddine Khaoui defeated his had man on the left wing. This gave the home side much-needed impetus to take the game to PSG, with Clermont pushing for an equalizer before the visitors regained their two-goal lead with a Neymar penalty. 2 - Paris become the first team with two players to score a hat-trick in the same game in Ligue 1 (Mbappé & Neymar) since... #CF63PSG pic.twitter.com/cnxrSVlxpH - OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 9, 2022 Mbappe scored a fourth goal for PSG shortly after, with the French striker completing his hat-trick with a stunning shot into the far corner in the 81st minute. And Neymar scored a hat-trick alongside his team-mate when Mbappe found the Brazilian in an empty goal. Mbappe has now scored seven goals in his last three games for PSG, with the French forward also registering five assists and gaining two for good measure. Many have talked about Mbappe as a future Ballon d'Or winner, but what if the 23-year-old is already the best player in the world? Some may point to Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah and Karim Benzema as contenders for that unofficial, unwritten award, but Mbappe could be more devastating than anyone at this point. It was the kind of performance most awaited from PSG after luring Messi to the club last summer. The Argentine failed to find the back of the net against Clermont but was the supply line for Mbappe and Neymar as PSG beat their opponents. PSG have now won back-to-back Ligue 1 games by an aggregate score of 11-2, with Mbappe, Messi and Neymar all impressive against Lorient and Clermont. PSG's top three all scored a hat-trick against Clermont. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/PCugfAkAVo - Squawka (@Squawka) April 9, 2022 Mauricio Pochettino struggled to get his team to play this type of free-flowing, attacking football all season but after the champions' elimination the pressure was gone League PSG gives an indication of what could have been. Sergio Ramos, starting for the first time since mid-January, was a solid presence for PSG in defense and even created danger in the opposition's penalty area from set pieces. 4 - Sergio Ramos will play his fourth game as a regular for Paris this season as the capital club play their 43rd game in all competitions. #CF63PSG pic.twitter.com/Q8cZrxvHzp - OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 9, 2022 If he's fit in the final stages of the season and can carry that into next season, Ramos could still be a key figure for PSG. 90+2 minutes: FULL TIME! Clermont 1 PSG 6 - The Ligue 1 leaders have a 15-point lead at the top of the table, with Mbappe and Neymar both scoring hat-tricks in that overwhelming win. Clermont will feel hurt because they have been good at this game for a long time. 90+1 mins: At the end of the game there are only two minutes of overtime left. 90 mins: Clermont Sub - Billong OUT, Ogier IN 88 mins: There was a point in that second half where PSG seemed to be in for a real fight. However, Mbappe, Messi and Neymar got things under control and there was nothing Clermont could do to stop them. 85 mins: PSG Sub - Mendes, Verratti and Hakimi OFF, Bernat, Ebimbe and Michut ON And there's Mbappe's hat trick 🎩 Look how happy he is at the celebrations! pic.twitter.com/k1Ma34XvYl - Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 9, 2022 Clermont 1 PSG 6 (Neymar 83') - PSG can't stop scoring now! Mbappe is not let out at the back for the first time and meets Neymar who rolls the finish into the net. Two hat-tricks for PSG against Clermont. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/K3lszyrIS3 - Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) April 9, 2022 Clermont 1 PSG 5 (Mbappe 81') - That's the hat trick! And it's a hat-trick of assists for Messi too! He played the pass to Mbappe but the Frenchman still had so much to do to find the back of the net. 78 mins: PSG sub - Kimpembe OUT, Kehrer IN Clermont 1 PSG 4 (Mbappe 74') - If the result wasn't sure before, it is now. Neymar's pass over the top was incredible, Mbappe controlled it, circled the keeper and drove home the shot from a tight angle. Clermont 1 PSG 3 (Penalty Neymar 72') - This goal should secure PSG all three points, who breathe a sigh of relief. Clermont had been pushing for an equalizer but Neymar converted from the point to restore the away team's two-goal lead. 71 minutes: PENALTY FOR PSG! Mbappe storms into the penalty area, the slide tackle comes in from Zedadka and the referee points to the point! 70 minutes: Kyei has a chance! He just came on as a substitute, but Kyei is already stepping in for Clermont. The home team is pushing for an equaliser. 69': PSG-Sub - Danilo OFF, Wijnaldum ON 68': Clermont-Sub - Berthomier and Khaoui OFF, Kyei and Du Cunha ON Messi has the ball in the back of the net and heads home from close range after a good job from Mbappe left, but against the latter the flag was hoisted. That was almost the goal to secure all three points for PSG. Clermont puts pressure on PSG, Berthomier shoots on target from a tight angle. 63 minutes: Donnarumma is lucky! The PSG goalkeeper was nearly knocked out of his goal when a ball was played over the top but the Italian recovered and lunged for the ball before the Clermont attacker could make him pay for his mistake. 62 mins: As I said about Messi's role as a creator in this PSG team... Most assists this season in Ligue 1 so far: – Squawka (@Squawka) 9 April 2022 60 mins: Good chance! The ball landed at Neymar, who formed the shot into the far corner, but hit everything wrong and flicked the ball well over the bar. 57 mins: Will Pochettino make changes to his team soon? PSG started strong but are now not as dominant as they were in the first stretch of the first half. Neymar is the first player to be shown a yellow card in this game. 53 minutes: Ramos gets up from behind for a corner, Neymar's delivery is good, but the experienced centre-back can't quite direct his shot on target and the ball flies harmlessly over the bar. 51 mins: It is notable that PSG tried to slow down the pace of the game in the early stages of the second half. 48 mins: PSG seemed in complete control of this game after scoring twice in the opening 19 minutes but Clermont has found a foothold in the competition and will have ambitions to complete their comeback in this second half. 45 minutes: The second half is on! PSG have a 2-1 advantage over Clermont! 45+1 mins: HALF TIME! Clermont 1 PSG 2 – The away team deserves to take the lead, they were the better team but Clermont responded well to two early goals and will believe they can continue their comeback after the break. 45 minutes: At the end of the first half, one minute of stoppage time is played. 44 min: Neymar refused! That was an excellent performance from Neymar, who fired in a swipe at the near post from inside the box, but Desmas grew and saved! A very well crafted goal to unlock the PSG defense 🔓🔑 Can Clermont come back in 17th place? pic.twitter.com/wBmUbIsDmX - Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 9, 2022 Clermont 1 (Dossou 42') PSG 2 - Clermont has a lifeline in play! They created the chance down the left, playing the ball to the back post, and Dossou was there to fire from close range! The ball landed at Gueye 25 meters away, he had Mbappe, Messi and Neymar in front of him in good positions, for some reason he takes the shot and does everything wrong! 38 mins: Ramos does well to win a header under pressure from a free-kick despite Donnarumma being behind the Spanish defender. Clermont is certainly pushing harder now than at any other stage in the game. 36 mins: Neymar played well in that first half for PSG who used the Brazilian as an outlet... 33 mins: That's a little better from Clermont. This is their best period of the game as Berthomier won a header inside the box but he would never really threaten Donnarumma with that effort. Just for a moment, Hakimi seemed to be behind the Clermont defense but the flag was flown against the PSG full-backs. 27 mins: Mbappe and Messi appear to be on the same wavelength, as this stat proves... 7 - Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé have combined seven assists in Ligue 1 this season, at least three more than any other duo. #CF63PSG pic.twitter.com/h653x3zNSC - OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 9, 2022 25 mins: Messi has two assists in the first half of this game and it shows the role he plays for this PSG team. 22 mins: That goal means Mbappe has now found the back of the net 29 times for PSG in all competitions. A brilliant assist from Messi and a 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐲 finish from Mbappé 🤩🔥 — beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 9, 2022 Clermont 0 PSG 2 (Mbappe 19') - What a sensational goal by PSG! Messi controlled a pass down his chest and played a wonderful through ball for Mbappe, who lifted a finish over the keeper and into the back of the net. 18 mins: This is already going to be a very difficult night for Clermont. 13 minutes: Messi shoots... PSG moves the ball forward down the left wing, the pass is played to Messi on the edge of the box, he pushes the ball to his left foot but shoots over the top when he should have hit the target ! 10 mins: Officials took a long look at Neymar's goal but decided there was no offense and the blow held. PSG have the early advantage. 8 mins: The Clermont players are furious that the goal was left standing because a player was in the penalty area when Neymar scored. #CF63PSG 🇫🇷 #Ligue1pic.twitter.com/jXn8jhoZTB - beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 9, 2022 6 mins: GOAL! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! Clermont 0 PSG 1 (Neymar 6') - There's the opening goal and Neymar found the back of the net! The ball whistled around the box, then Messi served Neymar and the Brazilian shot into the back net! 5 mins: PSG got off to a positive start to this game, with the home side controlling possession in the early stages. 2 mins: This is a very important game for Clermont. 1 min: The game is underway! PSG wears its white away kit with Clermont in red and blue. 5 minutes to K/O: The two teams are on the pitch at the Gabriel Montpied Stadium tonight. 10 minutes to KO: Mbappe, Messi and Neymar all scored for the first time against Lorient in the same game last weekend and the trio are back up front for PSG. 30 mins to K/O: The big team news ahead of kick-off here is that Ramos STARTS for PSG! 60 minutes to KO: Ramos played off the bench for PSG against Lorient last weekend but will the Spaniard start tonight? 90 minutes to K/O: PSG start this game with a 12-point advantage at the top of Ligue 1, but Pochettino and his side are under pressure after their Champions League elimination at Real Madrid. Two hours to K/O: Hello and welcome to Sporting News' live coverage of the Ligue 1 game between Clermont and Paris Saint-Germain! Can Pochettino's team take another step towards the French title? Clermont could assess their chances. Midfielder Salis Abdul Samed was unavailable to Clermont on suspension after seeing red in the Nantes defeat, meaning coach Pascal Gatien was forced to change his central unit. Sergio Ramos came off the bench in the 5-1 win against Lorient and was considered fit enough to start for PSG away in Clermont.

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Mbappe and Neymar shine in PSG win

Forwards score hat-tricks to help the French giants beat Clermont 6-1 and move closer to the Ligue 1 title (Author: Gardener)

NeymarKylian Mbappe and Neymar both scored hat-tricks as Paris Saint-Germain edged Clermont 6-1 on Saturday to move closer to winning Ligue 1. Mbappe, who has yet to decide if he will stay at PSG beyond this season, scored twice and had three assists in last weekend's 5-1 win over Lorient. He added another assist in that game and won a penalty as he rose to the top of Ligue 1's scorer chart this season with 20 goals. Mauricio Pochettino's men are now 15 points clear of second-placed Rennes and look set to reclaim the title with just seven games left. Clermont remains in 17th place, just a point ahead of Saint-Etienne, who occupy the relegation play-off spot. PSG have only Ligue 1 left to play this season after Real Madrid were knocked out of the Champions League but put in a second impressive performance. The Clermont players were outraged that PSG had kept attacking despite an injured defender. The champions-elect doubled their lead within 20 minutes as Messi collected his 12th league assist of the season. The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner volleyed the ball to Mbappe, who slotted it past oncoming goalkeeper Arthur Desmas. Neymar almost restored PSG's two-goal lead before the break but Desmas made a nice save to deflect the Brazilian's shot around the post. But with 20 minutes to go the game ended in a one-on-one when Mbappe was brought down in the penalty area after a quick counterattack by Akim Zedadka and sent Neymar Desmas the wrong way from the penalty spot. Mbappe scored his second goal just minutes later, racing on Neymar's brilliant pass to circle and tap Desmas.

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Kylian Mbappe briefly became PSG captain after he and Neymar scored hat-tricks against Clermont

Kylian Mbappe was handed the responsibility of captaining Paris Saint-Germain in the closing stages of Saturday's 6-1 win over Clermont Foot. (Author: Gardener)

Kylian MbappeKylian Mbappe was handed the responsibility of captaining Paris Saint-Germain in the closing stages of Saturday's 6-1 win over Clermont Foot. Although he didn't start the game as captain, he still led brilliantly from the front by scoring a hat-trick. Mbappe has been the subject of ongoing speculation over the past few weeks and months as his PSG contract expires in June. It had been widely expected that the 23-year-old would join Real Madrid on a free transfer at the end of the season. However, recent reports suggest that PSG are increasingly confident of possibly convincing him to extend his stay in Paris. Last week, L'Equipe reported that the PSG board had proposed the idea of ​​making Mbappe the team's captain in order to convince him to sign a new contract. On the eve of Saturday's game against Clermont, PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino said he could hand Mbappe the armband as regular skipper Marquinhos was absent through injury. "I think Kylian, like other players, is a possible captain of this team," said Pochettino, as quoted by Marca. "We want the best for him and for the club and the best thing is that he stays. But Presnel Kimpembe started the game as captain on Saturday before passing the tie to Marco Verratti when he left the field in the 79th minute Veratti was substituted six minutes later and it was at this point that Mbappe was given the role of captain.However, it is believed that Mbappe could be promoted to first-choice captain at the end of the season if he decides to stay.

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Hat-tricks for Mbappe and Neymar as PSG beat Clermont 6-1

Lionel Messi selected Neymar, who fired into the far corner to open the scoring in the sixth minute. The Argentina star then chested a Neymar cross in the 19th to volley for Mbappe, who defeated goalkeeper Arthur Desmas on Saturday. (Author: Gardener)

NeymarKylian Mbappe and Neymar both scored hat-tricks as leaders Paris Saint-Germain moved closer to a record-breaking 10th French league title with a 6-1 win over Clermont. PSG extended their lead to 15 points after this weekend with seven rounds to go. Lionel Messi selected Neymar, who fired into the far corner to open the scoring in the sixth minute. The Argentina star then chested a Neymar cross in the 19th to volley for Mbappe, who defeated goalkeeper Arthur Desmas on Saturday. Clermont scored in the 42nd round when Benin winger Jodel Dossou tapped into a cross from Saif-Eddine Khaoui. Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma secured PSG's lead by saving Jason Berthomier's shot in the 62nd minute before PSG took full control. Neymar gave PSG a 3-1 lead by converting a penalty in the 71st minute after Clermont full-back Akim Zedadka brought down Mbappe. Three minutes later, Neymar smacked a ball over the top for Mbappe, who rounded Desmas to score in an empty net. Mbappe scored his hat-trick by rolling into the far corner in the 80th to take his tally to a league-leading 20 goals. The French forward generously set up Neymar for a tap-in for his hat-trick in the 83rd. Messi, Neymar and Mbappe combine more effectively on the field, with greater understanding between players. "It's a shame it's only coming now," Mbappe told Canal Plus. Messi needed time to adjust to a new league and suffered minor blows, while Neymar struggled with fitness earlier in the season and was then sidelined for more than two months with an ankle injury. PSG have been on a losing streak of four games on the road in all competitions, while Clermont suffered a fifth straight defeat to stay in 17th place, a point above the relegation zone. Also on Saturday, Benjamin Bourigeaud scored twice as Rennes moved up to second with a 3-2 win at Reims. Rennes are level on points with Marseille, who host Montpellier on Sunday. Reims created chances early by pressing high on the field, forcing Rennes goalkeeper Dogan Alemdar to save Marshall Munetsi in the fourth minute and Nathanael Mbuku in the 25th minute. After a shaky start, Rennes settled down and took control of the game. Bourigeaud opened the scoring by heading home a Gaetan Laborde cross in the 39th. The Rennes midfielder doubled the lead in the 43rd with a deflected shot. With eight goals and eleven assists in the league, Bourigeaud is enjoying his best season to date. Then Reims substitute Moussa Doumbia had saved his penalty from Alemdar in the 77th after Rennes centre-back Nayef Aguerd Ilan Kebbal tripped. The hosts conceded another penalty three minutes later when Busi's shot caught Adrien Truffert's hand. Sweden international Jens Cajuste sent Alemdar the wrong way to cut Rennes' lead.

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Mbappe and Neymar score hat-tricks in emphatic six-goal win

Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar are in Ligue 1 action for Paris Saint-Germain, with Mauricio Pochettino's side getting closer to the French title for the first time since 2020. (Author: Gardener)

NeymarKylian Mbappe and Neymar both scored hat-tricks as Paris Saint-Germain extended a 15-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 with a convincing 6-1 home win over Clermont. The result means the Parc des Princes team are within reach of lifting the French title at home against Montpellier on Sunday. PSG needed just six points to open the scoring when Neymar netted from a flipper in the Clermont box and Messi set the Brazilian up. Mbappe grabbed his first of the night and PSG's second of the game. After 19 minutes, he ran to overtake the keeper after an excellent pass from Messi on the edge of the box. MORE: Mbappe, Neymar and Messi all score for the first time in the same game for PSG Clermont gave each other a lifeline late in the first half when Jodel followed Dossou at the back post to convert from close range after Saif-Eddine Khaoui defeated his had man on the left wing. This gave the home side much-needed impetus to take the game to PSG, with Clermont pushing for an equalizer before the visitors regained their two-goal lead with a Neymar penalty. 2 - Paris become the first team with two players to score a hat-trick in the same game in Ligue 1 (Mbappé & Neymar) since... #CF63PSG pic.twitter.com/cnxrSVlxpH - OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 9, 2022 Mbappe scored a fourth goal for PSG shortly after, with the French striker completing his hat-trick with a stunning shot into the far corner in the 81st minute. And Neymar scored a hat-trick alongside his team-mate when Mbappe found the Brazilian in an empty goal. Mbappe has now scored seven goals in his last three games for PSG, with the French forward also registering five assists and gaining two for good measure. Many have talked about Mbappe as a future Ballon d'Or winner, but what if the 23-year-old is already the best player in the world? Some may point to Robert Lewandowski, Mohamed Salah and Karim Benzema as contenders for that unofficial, unwritten award, but Mbappe could be more devastating than anyone at this point. It was the kind of performance most awaited from PSG after luring Messi to the club last summer. The Argentine failed to find the back of the net against Clermont but was the supply line for Mbappe and Neymar as PSG beat their opponents. PSG have now won back-to-back Ligue 1 games by an aggregate score of 11-2, with Mbappe, Messi and Neymar all impressive against Lorient and Clermont. PSG's top three all scored a hat-trick against Clermont. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/PCugfAkAVo - Squawka (@Squawka) April 9, 2022 Mauricio Pochettino struggled to get his team to play this type of free-flowing, attacking football all season but after the champions' elimination the pressure was gone League PSG gives an indication of what could have been. Sergio Ramos, starting for the first time since mid-January, was a solid presence for PSG in defense and even created danger in the opposition's penalty area from set pieces. 4 - Sergio Ramos will play his fourth game as a regular for Paris this season as the capital club play their 43rd game in all competitions. #CF63PSG pic.twitter.com/Q8cZrxvHzp - OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 9, 2022 If he's fit in the final stages of the season and can carry that into next season, Ramos could still be a key figure for PSG. 90+2 minutes: FULL TIME! Clermont 1 PSG 6 - The Ligue 1 leaders have a 15-point lead at the top of the table, with Mbappe and Neymar both scoring hat-tricks in that overwhelming win. Clermont will feel hurt because they have been good at this game for a long time. 90+1 mins: At the end of the game there are only two minutes of overtime left. 90 mins: Clermont Sub - Billong OUT, Ogier IN 88 mins: There was a point in that second half where PSG seemed to be in for a real fight. However, Mbappe, Messi and Neymar got things under control and there was nothing Clermont could do to stop them. 85 mins: PSG Sub - Mendes, Verratti and Hakimi OFF, Bernat, Ebimbe and Michut ON And there's Mbappe's hat trick 🎩 Look how happy he is at the celebrations! pic.twitter.com/k1Ma34XvYl - Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 9, 2022 Clermont 1 PSG 6 (Neymar 83') - PSG can't stop scoring now! Mbappe is not let out at the back for the first time and meets Neymar who rolls the finish into the net. Two hat-tricks for PSG against Clermont. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/K3lszyrIS3 - Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) April 9, 2022 Clermont 1 PSG 5 (Mbappe 81') - That's the hat trick! And it's a hat-trick of assists for Messi too! He played the pass to Mbappe but the Frenchman still had so much to do to find the back of the net. 78 mins: PSG sub - Kimpembe OUT, Kehrer IN Clermont 1 PSG 4 (Mbappe 74') - If the result wasn't sure before, it is now. Neymar's pass over the top was incredible, Mbappe controlled it, circled the keeper and drove home the shot from a tight angle. Clermont 1 PSG 3 (Penalty Neymar 72') - This goal should secure PSG all three points, who breathe a sigh of relief. Clermont had been pushing for an equalizer but Neymar converted from the point to restore the away team's two-goal lead. 71 minutes: PENALTY FOR PSG! Mbappe storms into the penalty area, the slide tackle comes in from Zedadka and the referee points to the point! 70 minutes: Kyei has a chance! He just came on as a substitute, but Kyei is already stepping in for Clermont. The home team is pushing for an equaliser. 69': PSG-Sub - Danilo OFF, Wijnaldum ON 68': Clermont-Sub - Berthomier and Khaoui OFF, Kyei and Du Cunha ON Messi has the ball in the back of the net and heads home from close range after a good job from Mbappe left, but against the latter the flag was hoisted. That was almost the goal to secure all three points for PSG. Clermont puts pressure on PSG, Berthomier shoots on target from a tight angle. 63 minutes: Donnarumma is lucky! The PSG goalkeeper was nearly knocked out of his goal when a ball was played over the top but the Italian recovered and lunged for the ball before the Clermont attacker could make him pay for his mistake. 62 mins: As I said about Messi's role as a creator in this PSG team... Most assists this season in Ligue 1 so far: – Squawka (@Squawka) 9 April 2022 60 mins: Good chance! The ball landed at Neymar, who formed the shot into the far corner, but hit everything wrong and flicked the ball well over the bar. 57 mins: Will Pochettino make changes to his team soon? PSG started strong but are now not as dominant as they were in the first stretch of the first half. Neymar is the first player to be shown a yellow card in this game. 53 minutes: Ramos gets up from behind for a corner, Neymar's delivery is good, but the experienced centre-back can't quite direct his shot on target and the ball flies harmlessly over the bar. 51 mins: It is notable that PSG tried to slow down the pace of the game in the early stages of the second half. 48 mins: PSG seemed in complete control of this game after scoring twice in the opening 19 minutes but Clermont has found a foothold in the competition and will have ambitions to complete their comeback in this second half. 45 minutes: The second half is on! PSG have a 2-1 advantage over Clermont! 45+1 mins: HALF TIME! Clermont 1 PSG 2 – The away team deserves to take the lead, they were the better team but Clermont responded well to two early goals and will believe they can continue their comeback after the break. 45 minutes: At the end of the first half, one minute of stoppage time is played. 44 min: Neymar refused! That was an excellent performance from Neymar, who fired in a swipe at the near post from inside the box, but Desmas grew and saved! A very well crafted goal to unlock the PSG defense 🔓🔑 Can Clermont come back in 17th place? pic.twitter.com/wBmUbIsDmX - Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 9, 2022 Clermont 1 (Dossou 42') PSG 2 - Clermont has a lifeline in play! They created the chance down the left, playing the ball to the back post, and Dossou was there to fire from close range! The ball landed at Gueye 25 meters away, he had Mbappe, Messi and Neymar in front of him in good positions, for some reason he takes the shot and does everything wrong! 38 mins: Ramos does well to win a header under pressure from a free-kick despite Donnarumma being behind the Spanish defender. Clermont is certainly pushing harder now than at any other stage in the game. 36 mins: Neymar played well in that first half for PSG who used the Brazilian as an outlet... 33 mins: That's a little better from Clermont. This is their best period of the game as Berthomier won a header inside the box but he would never really threaten Donnarumma with that effort. Just for a moment, Hakimi seemed to be behind the Clermont defense but the flag was flown against the PSG full-backs. 27 mins: Mbappe and Messi appear to be on the same wavelength, as this stat proves... 7 - Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé have combined seven assists in Ligue 1 this season, at least three more than any other duo. #CF63PSG pic.twitter.com/h653x3zNSC - OptaJean (@OptaJean) April 9, 2022 25 mins: Messi has two assists in the first half of this game and it shows the role he plays for this PSG team. 22 mins: That goal means Mbappe has now found the back of the net 29 times for PSG in all competitions. A brilliant assist from Messi and a 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐲 finish from Mbappé 🤩🔥 — beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 9, 2022 Clermont 0 PSG 2 (Mbappe 19') - What a sensational goal by PSG! Messi controlled a pass down his chest and played a wonderful through ball for Mbappe, who lifted a finish over the keeper and into the back of the net. 18 mins: This is already going to be a very difficult night for Clermont. 13 minutes: Messi shoots... PSG moves the ball forward down the left wing, the pass is played to Messi on the edge of the box, he pushes the ball to his left foot but shoots over the top when he should have hit the target ! 10 mins: Officials took a long look at Neymar's goal but decided there was no offense and the blow held. PSG have the early advantage. 8 mins: The Clermont players are furious that the goal was left standing because a player was in the penalty area when Neymar scored. #CF63PSG 🇫🇷 #Ligue1pic.twitter.com/jXn8jhoZTB - beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) April 9, 2022 6 mins: GOAL! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! 6 minutes: Goal! Clermont 0 PSG 1 (Neymar 6') - There's the opening goal and Neymar found the back of the net! The ball whistled around the box, then Messi served Neymar and the Brazilian shot into the back net! 5 mins: PSG got off to a positive start to this game, with the home side controlling possession in the early stages. 2 mins: This is a very important game for Clermont. 1 min: The game is underway! PSG wears its white away kit with Clermont in red and blue. 5 minutes to K/O: The two teams are on the pitch at the Gabriel Montpied Stadium tonight. 10 minutes to KO: Mbappe, Messi and Neymar all scored for the first time against Lorient in the same game last weekend and the trio are back up front for PSG. 30 mins to K/O: The big team news ahead of kick-off here is that Ramos STARTS for PSG! 60 minutes to KO: Ramos played off the bench for PSG against Lorient last weekend but will the Spaniard start tonight? 90 minutes to K/O: PSG start this game with a 12-point advantage at the top of Ligue 1, but Pochettino and his side are under pressure after their Champions League elimination at Real Madrid. Two hours to K/O: Hello and welcome to Sporting News' live coverage of the Ligue 1 game between Clermont and Paris Saint-Germain! Can Pochettino's team take another step towards the French title? Clermont could assess their chances. Midfielder Salis Abdul Samed was unavailable to Clermont on suspension after seeing red in the Nantes defeat, meaning coach Pascal Gatien was forced to change his central unit. Sergio Ramos came off the bench in the 5-1 win against Lorient and was considered fit enough to start for PSG away in Clermont.

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