bleacherreport: Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe closed in on Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in the race for the 2018-19 European Golden Shoe on Saturday after he netted a brace against Caen.
Meanwhile, Messi did not score in Barca’s 1-0 win at Real Madrid, so Mbappe is now just two points behind him.
Further back, Sampdoria veteran Fabio Quagliarella scored twice against SPAL to pull level with Cristiano Ronaldo in joint third, while Harry Kane broke into the top 10 with his goal against Arsenal in the north London derby on Saturday.
Here are the standings after the weekend’s results:
1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona: 25 x 2.0 difficulty factor = 50.0
2. Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain: 24 x 2.0 = 48.0
T3. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus: 19 x 2.0 = 38.0
T3. Fabio Quagliarella, Sampdoria: 19 x 2.0 = 38.0
T5. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City: 18 x 2.0 = 36.0
T5. Krzysztof Piatek, Genoa/AC Milan: 18 x 2.0 = 36.0
T7. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool: 17 x 2.0 = 34.0
T7. Edinson Cavani, Paris Saint-Germain: 17 x 2.0 = 34.0
9. Robert Skov, FC Copenhagen: 22 x 1.5 = 33.0
T10. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur: 16 x 2.0 = 32.0
T10. Luis Suarez, Barcelona: 16 x 2.0 = 32.0
Rules: Every European League has been assigned a difficulty factor by UEFA between one and two, which is multiplied by a player’s goal tally to calculate their points total.
For example, La Liga has a maximum rating of two, while the Danish Superliga has a rating of 1.5. As such, Lionel Messi’s goals for Barcelona are worth more points than Robert Skov’s for Copenhagen.
PSG found themselves a goal down against Caen when Casimir Ninga scored in the 56th minute, but Mbappe levelled just three minutes later, when he converted a penalty following a handball.
The 20-year-old netted the winner in the 87th minute when he turned in a rebound from Thomas Meunier’s shot.
ESPN FC’s Jonathan Johnson shared the France international’s impressive record in Ligue 1 this season:
— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) March 2, 2019
At the other end of the spectrum, 36-year-old Quagliarella continued his remarkable campaign with two goals in the first 11 minutes for Sampdoria. The first was a deft volley, the second a towering header.
The Italian is on course to enjoy the most prolific campaign of his career, per ESPN’s Matteo Bonetti:
Fabio Quagliarella Serie A season goal tally from age 23 to 36:
3, 13, 12, 13, 11, 9, 4, 9, 1, 13, 8, 12, 19, 19 (and going)
The definition of aging like a fine Italian wine. pic.twitter.com/7Ggt13Ycwe
— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) March 3, 2019
As for Kane, there was much controversy surrounding his penalty to give Tottenham Hotspur a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Wembley Stadium.
The striker was bowled over by Shkodran Mustafi, but he appeared to be offside when Christian Eriksen’s free-kick into the box was taken.
Whether the penalty should have stood or not, Kane took it confidently to hand Spurs a share of the spoils and take his tally for the season to 16 goals in the Premier League.
He has an excellent record against the Gunners:
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 2, 2019
An ankle injury has hindered his efforts this season, as he missed four Premier League matches during his month-long absence.
However, he has scored twice in three matches since his return, and he’ll look to continue getting on the scoresheet in the coming weeks.