Football: Mbappe equals Ibrahimovic's tally after brace against Saint-Etienne

Kylian Mbappe has now scored 156 league goals in a PSG shirt. PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - Kylian Mbappe scored twice from Lionel Messi assists as an impressive Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat Saint-Etienne 3-1 and further extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday (Feb 26).

Denis Bouanga put the struggling visitors in front at the Parc des Princes but Mbappe equalised just before the interval before striking again just after the restart.

The France forward then set up Danilo Pereira to head in the hosts' third goal as Mauricio Pochettino's team bounced back after losing 3-1 away at Nantes last weekend and moved 16 points clear of Nice and Marseille as they cruise towards the French title.

PSG were three goals behind at half-time against Nantes and they were punished for a slow start here, Gabon international Bouanga pouncing on a mistake by Pereira to fire past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Yet the home side eventually came to life and Mbappe continued his outstanding recent run of form, with his brace taking him on to 24 goals and 17 assists in all competitions this season.

Mbappe has now scored 156 league goals in a PSG shirt, equalling Zlatan Ibrahimovic's tally from his four-year spell in Paris between 2012 and 2016.

Only Edinson Cavani, with 200, has scored more goals for the club.

"It is not easy to describe his performances. He is incredible. I am proud of him," said Pochettino.

Mbappe was withdrawn to a standing ovation late on at the Parc des Princes, where supporters kept themselves warm on a bitterly cold night by performing a Mexican wave as their team turned on the style.

The World Cup-winning striker will now serve a suspension and so will miss next weekend's trip to Nice which will be followed by the second leg of PSG's Champions League last-16 tie against Real Madrid in Spain on March 9.

There Paris will defend the 1-0 advantage given to them by Mbappe's goal in the first leg.

Messi's two excellent assists in the win over Saint-Etienne was not overlooked by Pochettinto, who told broadcaster Canal Plus: "He is magnificent. All that was lacking today was a goal. We are gradually playing better and better."

Saint-Etienne remain just a point above the relegation zone before their rivals at the foot of the table all play on Sunday.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.