Sizzling Cavani, PSG lethal in away rout of Bordeaux
Paris Saint-Germain prepared for next week's UEFA Champions League last 16 clash with Barcelona in the best possible fashion -- a 3-0 win away at Bordeaux on Friday.
Edinson Cavani grabbed a spectacular double at Matmut Atlantique, while Angel Di Maria helped himself to another goal to pull the French champions provisionally level with AS Monaco at the Ligue 1 summit.
PSG are ready for their showdown with Barcelona next Tuesday. Unai Emery's men beat Bordeaux convincingly and rotated well so that nobody got injured and key players were given as much rest as possible.
Cavani's double was fantastically well timed. The Uruguayan has now scored in each of his last six matches across all competitions for Les Parisiens and is up to 25 goals this season in Le Championnat.
Barcelona will have to try to muzzle a Cavani full of confidence and arguably on the best run of form of his entire career if they want to attempt to escape Paris with a clean sheet.
Marco Verratti, Kevin Trapp and Thomas Meunier's returns to fitness also came right on time. The trio, particularly Verratti, will be important against Barcelona next week and all three got a good run out without any hiccups, so will be ready to face Luis Enrique's men.
None. It was as close to perfect preparation for Barcelona as it could get and it could get even better if Monaco struggle at home to Metz this weekend.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Emery got his starting XI, formation, substitutions and the timing of his changes -- to protect certain crucial players -- spot on. Bravo. Now, can he follow it up with a similar display against Barca?
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Kevin Trapp, 6 -- The German goalkeeper had to be alert to deny Younousse Sankhare and Nicolas Pallois in the first half. Otherwise, he was assured. After Alphonse Areola's recent difficulties, Emery and his defence will have breathed a sigh of relief at the sight of a confident and fit again Trapp.
DF Thomas Meunier, 6 -- Solid. Like Trapp, the Belgian international returned to action after a recent injury lay-off and immediately picked up where he left off prior to injury.
DF Marquinhos, 7 -- Calm and collected. With captain Thiago Silva out, his countryman had to assume the senior role in central defence alongside Presnel Kimpembe. He embraced it and was rarely troubled.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 6 -- Although not quite as commanding as Marquinhos, the France under-21 international enjoyed a second consecutive mature Ligue 1 outing.
DF Layvin Kurzawa, 6 -- Although more action took place on PSG's right side, the French international dealt with the threat of Malcom well and contributed in attack a few times.
MF Thiago Motta (C), 6 -- Steady. The veteran anchored the midfield well and got stuck in at times. However, he was deservedly booked after 21 minutes for elbowing Diego Rolan.
MF Marco Verratti, 7 -- An ideal return to action. The pugnacious Italian enjoyed a very good 60-minute outing, which will have him ready for Barcelona next week. Verratti's highlight was a sensational assist for Di Maria's goal just before half-time.
MF Adrien Rabiot, 6 -- Improved. The young French international prepared well for Barcelona by putting in a better performance than some of those produced recently. He should be able to adequately replace the suspended Motta next Tuesday.
FW Lucas Moura, 6 -- It was another unselfish team performance from the Brazilian, who is now starting to build up some momentum in the PSG starting XI. Lucas almost notched a brilliant assist but offside substitute Julian Draxler cleverly flicked just wide, after a great run and cross from the South American.
FW Edinson Cavani, 9 -- Lethal. El Matador is arguably in the best form of his career right now and Barcelona should be scared of facing him next week. Both goals were eye-catching one-touch efforts -- Cavani at his absolute best.
FW Angel Di Maria, 7 -- Encouraging. Handed his chance to impress with Draxler on the bench, the Argentine delivered an involved showing, grabbing a goal and an assist to show for his efforts. Consequently, he is now a late contender for a starting role against Barcelona.
MF Christopher Nkunku, 6 -- Sent on for Verratti after an hour, the youth academy graduate was vibrant and nearly grabbed himself a spectacular goal to make it 4-0 late on.
FW Julian Draxler, 6 -- The German international replaced Di Maria after 62 minutes and although he did not overwork himself, he was still a concern for Bordeaux and nearly scored with a clever flick from a Lucas cross.
FW Hatem Ben Arfa, NR -- Introduced with 18 minutes remaining so that Cavani could be given a breather, the Frenchman kept the Bordeaux back line on their toes.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.