PARIS — Kylian Mbappe struck his league-leading 21st goal of the season as defending champion Paris Saint-Germain won 4-1 at Strasbourg to stay three points behind leader Lille on Saturday.
Coach Mauricio Pochettino picked Mbappe even though PSG has a big game coming up against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, and the jet-heeled forward put PSG ahead in the 15th minute.
Mbappe latched onto a pass, cut inside a defender and slotted the ball through the legs of goalkeeper Matz Sels, who could have done better.
Moments earlier, Strasbourg midfielder Adrien Thomasson hit the post with a fine shot from just outside the penalty area, with goalkeeper Keylor Navas well beaten.
PSG took control after Mbappe’s goal.
Sels was beaten again in the 26th when winger Pablo Sarabia beat a defender on the edge of the area and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner, and Mbappe set up striker Moise Kean for a clinical finish just before the break.
Pochettino replaced Navas at halftime with Sergio Rico as a precautionary measure, ahead of the quarterfinal return leg against Bayern with PSG leading 3-2.
Rico was well beaten by 19-year-old striker Moise Sahi’s first league goal as he clipped an excellent half-volley into the top corner from a cross in the 62nd.
Pochettino took the risk of keeping Mbappe on until the 88th minute, even though the match already looked won after Leandro Paredes hit a fine free kick 10 minutes earlier for 4-1.
Later Saturday, Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli chased a fourth win in five games since taking charge when his side visited Montpellier.
Monaco and Lyon play their games on Sunday, with third-place Monaco hosting last-placed Dijon, and fourth-place Lyon facing midtable Angers.
Coach Niko Kovac’s Monaco side is in fine form, having lost just once in the last 19 games.
Lille’s defense held firm Friday in a 2-0 win at Metz.