PSG return to winning ways at Rennes following Champions League thrashing

By Sports Desk October 08, 2023

Paris St Germain returned to winning ways following their Champions League thrashing at Newcastle with a 3-1 Ligue 1 victory over Rennes.

First-half goals from Vitinha and Achraf Hakimi put Luis Enrique’s side in the ascendancy at Roazhon Park.

Amine Gouiri pulled one back for the hosts on 57 minutes but substitute Randal Kolo Muani swiftly restored the visitors’ two-goal advantage.

PSG, who suffered a 4-1 hammering on Tyneside on Wednesday, made their intentions clear by peppering the Rennes back line from the start.

Kylian Mbappe, making his 400th professional appearance, found space in neat pockets on the left and nearly opened the scoring with a curled effort which flew narrowly over.

Superstar forward Mbappe was largely anonymous in midweek but had the bit between his teeth on Sunday evening as he looked to break the deadlock.

And the French champions did just that after 33 minutes through Vitinha’s blockbuster.

The Portugal international picked up the ball just inside the box and produced a stunning dipping effort into the top corner which caught Steve Mandanda flat-footed.

The opener seemed to relax PSG, who upped the tempo and doubled their advantage four minutes later.

The creative Warren Zaire-Emery picked up the ball and whipped it to the back post, where Hakimi nodded home his side’s second goal.

PSG picked up where they had left off after the interval, with a lightning Mbappe run resulting in the winger slipping in the well positioned Goncalo Ramos, but he was unable to stroke the ball pass Mandanda.

Despite having been largely outplayed, Rennes managed to get themselves on the scoresheet in the 57th minute, when Ludovic Blas cut in and picked out the unmarked Gouiri, whose header beat Gianluigi Donnarumma.

But any hopes the hosts had of getting back on level terms were quashed almost immediately when a lapse in concentration proved costly.

Hakimi burst forward, glided past his marker as if he was not there and produced an inch-perfect cross to Kolo Muani who undid Rennes’ hard work straight from the restart to make it 3-1.

Kolo Muani had another effort chalked off for offside, with PSG then having to be on their guard as Blas looked to add to his assist tally.

The Rennes midfielder kept Lucas Hernandez busy on the right and produced a couple of dangerous passes into the box which were dealt with by the composed Marquinhos and Milan Skriniar.

Mbappe conjured up one of the misses of the season when, after a great run, he rounded Mandanda only to blast his shot over with the goal gaping, but PSG were well worth the points and saw out five minutes of stoppage time to claim a convincing away win.

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