PARIS — Edinson Cavani doesn’t have the charisma of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. But the Uruguay striker is proving he has all the skills needed to eclipse the Swedish star’s achievements at Paris Saint-Germain.
Cavani, the new leader of PSG’s attack since Ibrahimovic’s departure to Manchester United, scored twice in a 2-0 win over Bordeaux on Saturday in the French league, extending his tally to 11 goals in nine matches in all competitions.
Criticized for his profligacy earlier this season, Cavani has silenced his critics in the best possible way in recent weeks, and is the league leading scorer with eight in seven games. Cavani’s hot streak has helped PSG cope with a disappointing start to its domestic campaign in which the French capital side has already lost twice.
The convincing win over Bordeaux lifted Unai Emery’s side to third place, three points off Monaco’s pace.
PSG opened the scoring on its first chance after just three minutes when Angel Di Maria sped down the left side and crossed the ball for Cavani at the near post. He timed his jump and header perfectly.
With Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi marshalling the midfield, the hosts were in complete control during the first half while Bordeaux had only one shot on target.
PSG should have been awarded a penalty in the 26th when Bordeaux defender Nicolas Pallois handled the ball in the box, but referee Antony Gautier waved play on.
Cavani, who also scored twice midweek in the Champions League, completed his brace at the half-hour mark at the conclusion of another good move ignited on the left side, connecting with a cross from Layvin Kurzawa with his back heel to beat goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso.
Returning to his former club, Bordeaux striker Jeremy Menez was never a factor, while PSG fans chanted Hatem Ben Arfa’s name when the winger came in as a substitute in the 79th after sitting out PSG’s previous five games.
METZ 0, MONACO 7
Monaco posted its biggest league victory away from home to provisionally move to the top of the standings. Monaco moved two points clear of its Riviera rival Nice, which hosts Lorient on Sunday.
After Thomas Lemar gave an early lead to the visitors, Valere Germain scored his first goal for Monaco since another game against Metz in May 2015. Guido Carrillo found the net twice, and Bernardo Silva, Fabinho, and Gabriel Boschilia also made the score sheet. Eleven different Monaco players have scored in eight league matches this season.
NANTES 1, BASTIA 0
With mounting speculation over his future, Nantes coach Rene Girard pulled off a first victory since mid-August that lifted the Canaries above the danger zone. Mariusz Stepinski’s first-half goal was the first by Nantes at home this season.
DIJON 3, MONTPELLIER 3
Casimir Ninga scored a hat trick for Montpellier but the southern club could not hold onto a two-goal lead. Dijon first reduced its deficit in the 81st minute after Montpellier defender Anthony Vanden Borre scored an own goal, then Yohann Riviere leveled in added time.
Ivan Santini converted a penalty for his third goal this season as Caen defeated Toulouse 1-0, and Lille kept its nine-year unbeaten record against Nancy intact with a 1-0 win. Portugal international Eder netted the winner from the spot.