PSG suffer loss to Rennes as Messi tastes first defeat in France – Sporting Life
Lionel Messi suffered his first defeat for Paris Saint-Germain as Mauricio Pochettino’s side fell to a surprise two-goal defeat at Rennes on Sunday.
PSG had won all eight of their opening matches in Ligue 1 this season but goals either side of half-time from Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait condemned the league leaders to defeat.
Messi started in an all-star attack alongside Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, while Angel di Maria was also in a forward-thinking XI but such was the bluntness in the final third that the French capital side failed to register a shot on target throughout the game.
Rennes had won just one of their last five Ligue 1 matches and started this encounter in 14th position, but were deserving of their three points against a wasteful PSG.
Pochettino had made just one change from the side who beat Manchester City 2-0 in the midweek Champions League tie, with di Maria replacing Ander Herrera amid a formation shift to 4-2-3-1.
The visitors were knocking on the door in the first half as they passed up multiple opportunities to open the scoring and get their noses in front in the game.
Messi is yet to find the net in Ligue 1
Early pressure and intensity from Rennes had caused PSG problems in the opening 20 minutes but then Pochettino’s side began to carve out the best opportunities.
Neymar was responsible for spurning a gilt-edged opportunity midway through the half as the ball bobbled kindly for the Brazilian at point-blank range but he somehow could not direct his effort on target.
Moments later it was Kylian Mbappe who was responsible for failing to convert a glorious opening as he lost balance and could not find the target when through on goal.
PSG came within inches of opening the scoring and Messi was unlucky not to net his first goal in Ligue 1, with his near-pinpoint free-kick rattling the crossbar and bouncing to safety.
Les Parisiens were made to pay for those missed opportunities as Laborde gave the hosts the lead on the stroke of half-time.
Winger Kamal Sulemana – who was superb throughout – put in a devilish delivery from the left which caught out Nuno Mendes at the back post with Laborde appearing to get the decisive touch which flew past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Despite PSG having the chance to regroup at the break, it was less than 20 seconds into the second period that the hosts doubled their lead as Tait drifted into the box unmarked to double the advantage.
The visitors were rattled and could not find the rhythm that they threatened in the first half, with most of their attacks limited to efforts from range.
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Mbappe did have the ball in the net with a superb run and finish but the goal was correctly ruled out for an offside in the build-up.
Messi whistled a free-kick inches wide of goal with less than 20 minutes left on the clock amid continued frustrations.
VAR overturned a Rennes penalty with 10 minutes of normal time remaining as PSG full-back Achraf Hakimi had won the ball before making contact with the attacking player.
That would have added insult to injury, but PSG were still left licking their wounds as they slumped to a shock defeat.
Source: Football News – Sporting Life
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