Even defender Kurzawa gets in on PSG's scoring act

PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa (right) outpacing Anderlecht midfielder Pieter Gerkens. He is the first defender to score a hat-trick in the Champions League.
PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa (right) outpacing Anderlecht midfielder Pieter Gerkens. He is the first defender to score a hat-trick in the Champions League.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS • Layvin Kurzawa became the first defender to score a hat-trick in the Champions League as Paris Saint-Germain powered into the last 16 on Tuesday with a 5-0 rout of Anderlecht.

PSG also made history for scoring the most goals in first four group stage games with 17, while conceding none.

But PSG manager Unai Emery wants his side to set their sights on securing top spot in Group B.

"We are satisfied. We qualified, which was the most important thing," he said. "But the goal in this group is to finish first, and we still have work against Celtic at home and against Bayern (Munich).

"In the first game against them (a 4-0 win a fortnight ago), we gave them too much space and conceded too many chances, and tonight, we gave them nothing."

The French giants have a maximum of 12 points, with Bundesliga leaders Bayern (nine) progressing alongside them following a 2-1 victory away to Celtic.

Kurzawa, a left-back, scored three times in the space of 26 minutes after the break at the Parc des Princes following first-half strikes from Marco Verratti and Neymar.

"Everyone can be happy tonight - we've won 5-0 and played really well in front of our fans. We need to continue like this," the 25-year-old French international told beIN Sports. "The hat-trick is thanks to my teammates. I am delighted and the goals will give me confidence."

In stark contrast to PSG, Anderlecht have lost all four group games and have failed to score a goal. They will go no further in the Champions League, but sent a warning to PSG's opponents in the knockout rounds.

"If the final were tomorrow, I think they would win it," the Belgian club's coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck said of PSG. "Right now, they are quite simply the best team in Europe."

PSG will get their biggest test in this season's Champions League next month, when they head to the Allianz Arena to take on European heavyweights Bayern.

The five-time European champions have won all six games since Jupp Heynckes replaced Carlo Ancelotti at the helm.

Javi Martinez's brave towering header - which left the Spaniard bloodied - clinched qualification for the Bavarians in Glasgow.

"It's important that we have qualified," Heynckes said. "But it's going to be difficult to finish top because of our head-to-head record (with PSG)."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2017, with the headline 'Even defender Kurzawa gets in on PSG's scoring act'. Print Edition | Subscribe