PSG's bid for another title is a procession after 10 matches
By JEROME PUGMIRE
PARIS (AP) Paris Saint-Germain's bid for another league title is already a procession after just 10 games. The defending champion has won them all, averaging nearly four goals per game in addition to boasting Ligue 1's tightest defense.
Contrasting the storylines of the English Premier League, Spain's La Liga, Italy's Serie A and Germany's Bundesliga, PSG is a tearaway leader with no apparent domestic rival. And this after finishing a whopping 13 points clear of second-place Monaco last season.
Lille is in second place so far this campaign but is already eight points behind - which is easily the highest margin of the five major leagues. Italy has the next biggest gap, with defending champion Juventus four ahead of Napoli after nine rounds.
In England, Liverpool and defending champion Manchester City are level pegging - with Chelsea and Tottenham only two points astern. If PSG wins at Marseille next Sunday, the club will equal Tottenham's run of 11 straight opening wins during the 1960-61 campaign.
In Spain, Barcelona sits ahead of city rival Espanyol and Alaves by one point. Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are two points back.
The numbers keep stacking up for coach Thomas Tuchel's PSG side, meanwhile.
If PSG maintains its current scoring ratio of 3.7 per game, it will net an astonishing 141 over 38 matches and 33 more than last season.
PSG's comfort zone is currently so high Tuchel could afford to give star striker Neymar the rare luxury of a few days off following the international break. The Brazil forward, who reportedly went to Portugal during his club-allocated break, wasn't even missed as PSG routed Amiens 5-0 at home on Saturday .
That match resembled a training session at times.
It certainly looks like a case of deja vu for PSG with fourth domestic treble in five seasons seeming a formality.
In all competitions so far, PSG has netted 49 goals in 13 games. The past five alone have yielded a jaw-dropping tally of 23 scored, against just two conceded.
But behind this veneer of comfortable domestic triumph PSG - with its lofty European ambitions - will rightly be judged on how it fares against teams of equal stature in the Champions League. PSG's only defeat of the season was 3-2 at Champions League runner-up Liverpool last month .
The loss at five-time European Cup winner Liverpool (which is five times more than PSG) was punctuated by sloppy errors. None more so than for Liverpool's last-gasp winner, which came about after PSG'S teen star Kylian Mbappe needlessly lost possession.
In the past two seasons, PSG has failed to even make the quarterfinals of Europe's elite competition and it has not reached the semifinals since cash-rich Qatari investors QSI took charge in June, 2011.
The spotlight will be firmly on PSG - and on Tuchel - when it hosts Napoli in the Champions League at Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
Anything less than a win will put PSG's domestic dominance sharply into perspective.
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Updated October 22, 2018