Thomas Tuchel secured his first trophy as Paris Saint Germain boss as the French champions breezed past AS Monaco 4-0 in the Trophée des Champions at the Shenzhen Universiade Stadium in China on Saturday afternoon.
An Angel Di Maria double, as well as strikes from Timothy Weah and Christopher Nkunku was enough for the Parisians to claim victory and their eighth title.
Fast start from the champions
Tuchel’s troops enjoyed a fast start in China as 18-year-old striker Weah raced in-behind straight away but he was halted by Kamil Glik before he could get a shot away towards goal.
Despite the low-key attention surrounding the game in China, it did still have the taste of a derby as tensions boiled over between Di Maria and Monaco defender Jemerson but both players escaped without a caution. Adrien Rabiot slotted the Argentine midfielder through only a few minutes later but he could not convert from close range.
Tielemans threatens but Di Maria blasts home
Leonardo Jardim’s men also had the opportunity to open the scoring which could have changed the pattern of the game. Yuri Tielemans was unmarked in the PSG penalty area but his goal-bound shot was deflected away by Thiago Silva. Di Maria then did excellently to turn inside the box but his low shot was brilliantly saved by Benaglio in the Monaco goal
He made no mistake with his next opportunity as he powered the Parisians ahead. With Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe missing, the former Real Madrid man curled a stunning free-kick into the back of the net from 25 yards out.
Monaco again wasteful as PSG assume control just before the break
Rony Lopes should really have equalised from only yards as he failed to connect with a cross when under pressure. Stanley Nsoki was also guilty of spurning an opportunity as he headed wide.
The 19-year-old was pivotal soon after, however, as the lead was extended. His teasing cross found its way to Nkunku, and he clinically prodded home with the half-time break only minutes away.
PSG claim the title in China
With their 2-0 lead firmly intact after the break, the French champions could afford to be slightly more defensive after the break. As a result, Monaco created a few more chances, with Jovetic testing former Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon from range.
Di Maria did continue to threaten though as he blasted into the side-netting.
The third goal did eventually come but it was not Di Maria, but instead Weah who found the net. Another great bit of play from Nsoki saw him earn room on the flank and cut the ball back into the box. It was an easy task for Weah from then on as he finished coolly underneath the goalkeeper.
Parisians finish with a flourish
Tuchel’s men turned on the style in the second-half and could well have had more on the scoresheet, had it not been for Nkunku crashing the ball against the crossbar.
The final minute eventually brought the final goal and the game was bookended excellently as Di Maria doubled his work for the afternoon. Dancing around the Monaco defence, the Argentine defence tucked the ball into the corner to well and truly wrap up an emphatic victory for PSG.
Whilst there was not too much of a chasm between the champions and Monaco during the first quarter of the game, Jardim’s men really struggled to keep their opponents at arms length. PSG were just far more clinical in attack and overpowered their great rivals in midfield with the inclusion of Verratti and Rabiot.
It would be fair to suggest that Tuchel will be extremely satisfied with his start as PSG manager.
Paris Saint Germain: Buffon (7); Nsoki (8), Rimane (6), Silva (7) (Bernede (N/A), 75′), Dagba (7); Rabiot (8), Verratti (7) (Neymar (N/A), 75′), Diarra (6) (Marquinhos (7), 66′); Nkunku (7), Weah (7), Di Maria (8).
Monaco: Benaglio (6); Raggi (5), Glik (6), Jemerson (6), Serrano (6); Aholou (5), Pele (6) (Diop (6), 46′); Grandsir (5) (Keita (6), 46′), Tielemans (6), Lopes (6); Jovetic (5).
Goals: Di Maria (33′, 90+2′), Nkunku (40′), Weah (67′).
Yellow Cards: Aholou (7′)