Paris - Left-back Layvin Kurzawa was an unlikely hat-trick
hero as Paris Saint-Germain destroyed Anderlecht 5-0 on Tuesday and sealed
their place in the last 16 of the Champions League with two group games to
Marco Verratti and Neymar had scored brilliant first-half
goals for the hosts at the Parc des Princes to leave the Belgian side
demoralised and with too much to do to turn the game around.
Kurzawa then scored his three goals in the second half and
the result, combined with Bayern Munich's 2-1 win away to Celtic, allowed the
French giants to secure their place in the knockout phase for a sixth
consecutive season, the essential assured before the start of November.
"We can all be happy. The 5-0 scoreline shows how well
we played," Kurzawa told beIN Sports.
"The hat-trick is thanks to my teammates. I am
delighted and the goals will give me confidence."
Unai Emery's expensively assembled squad have won all four
games in Champions League Group B, scoring 17 goals and conceding none, and can
now focus on securing top spot with a home game against Celtic and a trip to
Bayern - who are three points behind - still to come.
"We are happy to have qualified which is important, but
the main objective in this group is to finish first and we still have work to
do," Emery said.
Anderlecht, in contrast, are yet to register a point or even
score a goal in the competition after this latest defeat which followed a 4-0
reverse at home to PSG a fortnight ago.
They are eliminated, although they could still pip Celtic to
the consolation of third and a Europa League spot in the New Year.
But their approach to this game was telling, with coach Hein
Vanhaezebrouck suggesting that an upcoming domestic league meeting with Club
Brugge was his priority.
Europe most definitely is a priority for PSG, and Emery
resisted any temptation to drop star teenage forward Kylian Mbappe, disappointing
in recent matches.
That meant Angel Di Maria had to settle for a place on the
bench, with Neymar back in the side after a one-game domestic ban.
The world's most expensive player almost opened the scoring
inside 35 seconds, being denied by goalkeeper Frank Boeckx after Mbappe picked
Otherwise he was wasteful for much of the first half and
Boeckx dealt with everything that was thrown at him until Verratti struck on
the half-hour mark.
Mbappe picked out the Italian in the penalty box to the left
and Verratti cut back onto his right foot to curl a fine shot into the far
corner for just his second goal in 40 Champions League appearances.
Dani Alves sliced an effort on the half-volley that grazed
the post on its way past before the home side made it 2-0 in stoppage time at
the end of the half.
Hardly anything had come off for Neymar until he played a
corner from the left short to Julian Draxler, received the return ball and cut
inside to curl a brilliant effort beyond Boeckx and in for his 11th goal in 12
games in a PSG shirt.
Neymar then made the third goal in the 52nd minute as his
free-kick came back off the post and Kurzawa followed in to convert the
In the 72nd minute the French international defender scored
again, heading in unmarked from an Alves ball across the face of goal for his
second of the game.
But Kurzawa, who had never previously scored in the
Champions League proper, was not finished there as he completed his hat-trick
12 minutes from time.
An Alves pass was helped on by Edinson Cavani and substitute
Di Maria, and Kurzawa, storming forward from left-back, drilled a low left-foot
shot into the far corner to complete the rout.