PARIS, Nov 2 (Reuters) – French champions Paris St Germain beat Lille 2-1 in Ligue 1 on Friday to break the record for the best start to a season in Europe’s top five leagues with their 12th successive win.
France forward Kylian Mbappe and Brazilian Neymar scored the goals as PSG surpassed the 11 victories Tottenham Hotspur notched up to begin the 1960-61 English top flight campaign.
The result left leaders PSG on 36 points, 11 ahead of closest challengers Lille. Montpellier, who are a further three points adrift in third, host fifth-placed Olympique de Marseille in the round’s other standout fixture on Sunday.
Mbappe lit up the match with another brilliant goal, his 11th of the season, when he took a through ball in his stride and buried a delightful curling shot from 20 metres past Lille keeper Mike Maignan in the 70th minute.
Neymar made it 2-0 with a clinical finish in the 84th before Nicolas Pepe netted a stoppage-time penalty for Lille, who matched the home side for long spells with an adventurous approach and incisive passing.
PSG always looked more dangerous, though, as Mbappe went close with a low shot in the 10th minute before Maignan denied Angel Di Maria from close range and Brazilian defender Marquinhos headed over the bar following a corner.
Thomas Meunier fired high after a dazzling run by Mbappe and Maignan again rescued Lille with two good saves as Lille were forced to hang on in the closing stages of the first half.
Two darting raids by PSG came to nothing shortly after halftime as crisp one-touch passing lacked a decisive finish before Mbappe broke the deadlock with lethal precision.
Maignan did well to block Marco Verratti’s shot from six metres before Neymar drilled in the second for PSG, who then conceded a clumsy penalty as defender Thilo Kehrer handled.
Pepe blasted the spot-kick past Gianluigi Buffon into the top corner but Lille ran out of time to force a draw. (Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ed Osmond)