Soccer News: Rennes 2-0 Paris Saint-Germain: Mbappe and Neymar miss the end of PSG’s winning start dearly


Paris Saint-Germain’s winning start in Ligue 1 ended on Sunday with a 2-0 defeat to Rennes.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had won eight out of eight league wins before their trip to Roazhon Park and were 15 unbeaten in the competition since early April.

But the visitors were forced to pay for Neymar and Kylian Mbappe’s wrong mistakes as Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait scored for Rennes on both sides of the interval.

Mbappe had an offside goal canceled and Lionel Messi came close to the edge on a free-kick, having previously hit the crossbar by one, but PSG failed to find an answer in a rare setback for Pochettino.

Travel problems forced PSG players to travel to Rennes by road late on Saturday and this seemed to show how they made a slow start to the race.

However, Rennes failed to put Gianluigi Donnarumma to the test during his spell at the top, and PSG quickly took the lead when big chances came to Neymar and Mbappe.

But Neymar cut a six-yard volley when he was unmarked and Mbappe pulled a shot with only Alfred Gomis hitting less than two minutes later.

Messi then hit the crossbar with a free kick and those near misses proved costly when Kamaldeen Sulemana’s cross was shot by Laborde, though Nuno Mendes may have had the finishing touch.

The home side’s doubling comes just 18 seconds after half-time when Laborde throws the ball back for Tait and overtakes Donnarumma when he is left in abundance.

That goal was allowed to stand after a lengthy VAR check and PSG was nullified by technology with 21 minutes left when Mbappe’s handsome finish was ruled out for offside.

The VAR was also requested late to overturn a penalty awarded for a challenge by Achraf Hakimi on Laborde, although Rennes comfortably watched the rest of the match.

What does it mean? Poch’s stellar cast was blown away

This was the first time that Pochettino was able to field what is certainly his favorite line-up this season, with Messi, Neymar, Mbappe, Angel Di Maria and Marco Verratti all at the start.

Despite all the offensive quality on display, however, Pochettino’s side were left exposed for both Rennes goals as they continued their poor spell of form at Roazhon Park.

PSG have failed to win in three attempts on this turf, with this fifth home and away defeat against Rennes since the start of the Qatar era in 2011-12 – only Lyon have defeated the Parisiens so many times in the same period.

PSG fails to test Gomis

Messi and Mbappe shot nine times together, while Neymar – replaced by Mauro Icardi with 16 minutes left – also shot in one attempt.

None of these efforts put Gomis to the test, with PSG failing to register a single attempt on goal in the 90 minutes. In fact, Mbappe has now scored 17 shots since scoring in Ligue 1.

Laborde stars for Rennes

PSG were exposed on both flanks for Rennes goals and Laborde played an important role in both.

The 27-year-old won his battle with Mendes for the lead – which could still be an own goal – and scored brilliantly at tee Tait for second.

What’s next?

PSG will look for an answer when they host Angers on 15 October. Rennes will travel to Metz when they return to the pitch after a two-week break.


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