PSG lose to Rennes: Despite Kylian Mbappe’s return from a post-World Cup vacation, Paris Saint-Germain lost 1-0 away to Rennes in Ligue 1 on Sunday, reducing its lead at the top of the standings to just three points halfway through the season.
Hamari Traore, the captain of Rennes, scored the game’s lone goal in the 65th minute in the pouring Brittany weather to hand PSG its second straight away league defeat after it lost 3-1 at second-placed Lens on New Year’s Day.
PSG’s unbeaten run comes to End
Prior to that, it has won all 23 of its games this season in all competitions without a loss, thus this most recent defeat offers its competitors optimism in the title battle.
Since their return from the World Cup, PSG’s top attacking trio of Mbappe, Lionel Messi, and Neymar hadn’t shared the field together.
After leading Argentina to victory in Doha, Messi was given a longer vacation. He returned with a goal in a 2-0 victory over Angers the following week.
Mbappe’s return to Paris Club
Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final as France lost to Argentina on penalties, played in his club’s first two post-tournament matches but missed their final two as he vacationed in New York with colleague Achraf Hakimi.
On Sunday, he was supposed to get the ball, but Hugo Ekitike, a 20-year-old, played in front of Messi and Neymar while he started the game on the bench. PSG was blatant up front without its top scorer, and Rennes goalkeeper Steve Mandanda didn’t have to make a noteworthy save until three minutes into the second half, when he stopped a header from Danilo Pereira.
PSG Lose to Rennes: Match Key Moments
- In the 56th minute, Mbappe came on for Ekitike, and he was cheered on by the home crowd, who were proud of how well the striker had performed at the World Cup.
- Mbappe, who was making his 200th Ligue 1 game, missed an opportunity to equalise when he rushed through on goal but blasted over with just the goalie to beat.
- However, Rennes went ahead shortly after due to its right-back Traore.
- Juan Bernat was the PSG player who came closest to equalising, as Neymar was once more ineffectual and Messi did not have the expected impact. Juan Bernat’s attempt was turned over by Mandanda.
Concern for PSG as Champions League tie awaits
With a Champions League matchup against Bayern Munich just one month away, PSG coach Christophe Galtier will be hoping that his attacking trio can swiftly regain their early-season form.
Rennes has already won nine straight home league games despite recently losing top scorer Martin Terrier for the remainder of the season due to a major knee injury.
It is now ranked fifth in the standings, trailing Monaco in fourth place on goals scored only due to the principality team’s previous 7-1 thrashing of Ajaccio.