Match Report: Rennes 2-0 Paris Saint-Germain – Mbappe and Neymar misses costly as PSG’s winning start ended

Rennes' players celebrate after scoring against PSG
Rennes’ players celebrate after scoring against PSG

Paris Saint-Germain’s winning start to the Ligue 1 campaign came to an end with a shock 2-0 loss to Rennes on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had won eight out of eight in the league prior to their trip to Roazhon Park and were 15 without defeat in the competition since early April.

But the visitors were made to pay for poor misses from Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait struck for Rennes either side of half-time.

Mbappe had a goal chalked off for offside and Lionel Messi went close from a free-kick, having earlier struck the crossbar from one, but PSG could not find a response in a rare setback for Pochettino.

Travel problems forced PSG’s players to make their way to Rennes via road late on Saturday and that appeared to show as they made a sluggish start to the contest.

Rennes failed to truly test Gianluigi Donnarumma during their spell on top, though, and PSG soon got on the front foot as big chances fell the way of Neymar and Mbappe.

But Neymar sliced a volley over from six yards when unmarked and Mbappe scuffed a shot off target with only Alfred Gomis to beat less than two minutes later.

Messi then hit the crossbar from a free-kick and those near misses proved costly when Kamaldeen Sulemana’s cross was turned in by Laborde, though Nuno Mendes may have got the final touch.

The home side’s second arrived just 18 seconds after half-time as Laborde pulled the ball back for Tait to tuck past Donnarumma when left in plenty of space.

That goal was allowed to stand following a lengthy VAR check and PSG were undone by the technology 21 minutes from time when Mbappe’s fine finish was ruled out for offside.

VAR was also required late on to overturn a penalty awarded for an Achraf Hakimi challenge on Laborde, though Rennes comfortably saw out the remainder of the contest.

What does it mean? Poch’s all-star cast left stunned

This was the first time Pochettino has been able to field what is surely his preferred line-up this term, with Messi, Neymar, Mbappe, Angel Di Maria and Marco Verratti all starting.

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

PSG have now failed to win in three attempts at this ground, with this their fifth loss against Rennes home and away since the Qatari era began in 2011-12 – only Lyon have defeated the Parisiens as many times across the same period.

PSG fail to test Gomis

Messi and Mbappe managed nine shots between them, while Neymar – replaced by Mauro Icardi 16 minutes from time – also fired in one attempt.

Not one of those efforts tested Gomis, with PSG failing to register a single attempt on target across the 90 minutes. Indeed, Mbappe has now had 17 shots since scoring in Ligue 1.

Laborde stars for Rennes

PSG were exposed down both flanks for Rennes’ goals and Laborde played a big part in both.

The 27-year-old won his battle with Mendes for the opener – which may yet go down as an own goal – and did brilliantly to tee up Tait for the second.

Key Opta Facts

– Paris Saint-German lost their first Ligue 1 game since April, ending a run of 15 games without losing in the top-flight (W14 D1).

– Rennes have won seven Ligue 1 home games since the arrival of Bruno Genesio in March (D2 L1), no team have done better over the same period.

– PSG attempted 13 shots during this game, their highest tally without registering a shot on target in a Ligue 1 game since Opta started collecting such data (2006-07).

– Rennes striker Gaetan Laborde is the top scorer in Ligue 1 (six goals). He is the first player in Ligue 1 to score at least three goals with two different clubs in a season in the top flight (three with Montpellier, three with Rennes) since Mathieu Duhamel in 2014-15 (four with Evian, 6 with Caen).

What’s next?

PSG will be looking for a response when they host Angers on October 15. Rennes travel to Metz on their return to action after the two-week break.

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