Lens had a prime opportunity to open the scoring just six minutes in, as a penalty was awarded after Elye Wahi was fouled by Danilo Pereira in the area. However, Przemysław Frankowski sent his effort straight down the middle, and Gianluigi Donnarumma stood his ground to save.
Barcola subsequently opened the scoring on the half-hour mark, as PSG countered in brilliant fashion, Mbappe played a superb ball into the young midfielder, and he finished coolly from an angle. And on the stroke of half-time, Jonathan Gradit brought down Barcola when the last man, and was sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Lens mounted a spirited fight-back in the second half but were unable to carve out the chances needed to level proceedings, while PSG fluffed a number of increasingly gilt-edged chances before Mbappe added a second with a superb finish from a tight angle.
They have subsequently moved eight points clear at the top of the table, thanks in no small part to their superstar forward.
While Barcola was brilliant, and thoroughly deserved his goal, there is no other answer than Mbappe. He provided the assist for Barcola’s excellent goal, and then scored a superb strike himself, finishing instinctively on the turn from a tight angle. One dreads to think where the Parisians would be without him.
THE BIG LOSER
There are a couple of candidates, given Frankowski’s penalty miss and Gradit’s sending off, but it has to be the latter. PSG were not all that impressive in the first half, but his sending off ultimately cost the hosts, as they were unable to climb the mountain of staging a comeback against 11.
WHAT COMES NEXT?
PSG face US Orleans in the last 32 of the Coupe de France on Saturday as their quest for a silverware-filled season continues.