Nimes 2 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Mbappe sent off after late strike for champions

By Sports Desk September 01, 2018

Kylian Mbappe scored a vital goal before getting sent-off as Paris Saint-Germain maintained their 100 per cent record in Ligue 1 with a 4-2 victory over 10-man Nimes. 

Having forged ahead through goals from Neymar and Angel Di Maria towards the end of the opening half, Thomas Tuchel's men were picked apart by a feisty Nimes side who refused to lie down.

Antonin Bobichon put the hosts back in the contest with a sweetly struck shot before a VAR-awarded penalty, converted by Teji Savanier, had them on course for an unlikely point.

But Mbappe struck his fourth goal in three appearances this season 13 minutes from time before Edinson Cavani found the net in stoppage time to finally finish off Nimes.

That was not the end of the drama, though, with Mbappe dismissed for his reaction to a heavy tackle from Savanier, who was also shown a red card in the closing seconds of an eventful contest.

Thomas Meunier created the breakthrough on 36 minutes, playing a one-two with Mbappe before crossing for Neymar to slide in and poke the ball past Paul Bernardoni, who was caught out four minutes later when Angel Di Maria scored directly from a corner on PSG’s right, curling the ball in at an unguarded near post as the goalkeeper back-pedalled helplessly.

Yet Nimes were rewarded for an improved second-half display when Sada Thioub squared to Bobichon, allowing the substitute to curl a first-time shot beyond Alphonse Areola.

Thiago Silva's clumsy challenge on Theo Valls gifted Nimes a 70th-minute penalty that was eventually awarded after the use of technology, Savanier depositing the spot-kick into the bottom left corner.

Just as an unlikely turnaround appeared to be on the cards, Mbappe latched onto a long ball over the top from Presnel Kimpembe, took one touch to perfectly control the ball and then lashed his attempt beyond Bernardoni.

Cavani capitalised on a Julian Draxler pass to nonchalantly roll the ball in for PSG’s fourth before Mbappe was given his marching orders for pushing Savanier to the floor after the midfielder had scythed him down.


What it means: Champions on a roll

PSG have lost only one of their last 20 Ligue 1 games and victory over Nimes means Tuchel's star-studded side have four wins from their first four games of the season for the fifth time in their history – the last occasion coming in 2017-18.

Meanwhile, Nimes have now won two and lost two of their opening four games in their first top-flight campaign in over 25 years, a promising start they will hope to build on.

 

Pat on the back: Neymar the wise counsel to fractious Mbappe

So often criticised for his over-the-top antics, Neymar was a pillar of experience for his strike partner Mbappe, settling the prodigious winger down when he was being roughly treated by the home defenders in the early stages.

Neymar picked the perfect moment for some theatrics, though, following up the opening goal by imitating tears in front of the Nimes supporters who had held up banners calling him a "crybaby".

 

Boot up the backside: Mbappe struggled at the school of hard knocks

He might have turned the game with his timely goal but Mbappe struggled in the contest, his first-half outburst to the referee suggesting the hosts had him rattled.

The World Cup winner redeemed himself once Nimes began to tire, only to snap in the dying seconds. The message to the rest of Ligue 1 had been made clear - be tough with Mbappe and he may fall short of his best.


Key Opta stats:

1 - Angel Di Maria is the first player to score a direct corner in Ligue 1 since Rachid Ghezzal with Lyon against GFC Ajaccio in April 2016. Delight. @PSG_English #NOPSG pic.twitter.com/2Ln2M6dqYT

— OptaJean ⭐⭐ (@OptaJean) September 1, 2018

- PSG have lost only one of their last 20 Ligue 1 games (W15 D4), with the defeat back in May against Rennes (0-2).
- Angel Di Maria is the first player to score directly from a corner in Ligue 1 since Rachid Ghezzal for Lyon in April 2016.
- Antonin Bobichon has scored in National (Ligue 3) in 2016/17, Ligue 2 in 2017/18 and now Ligue 1 in 2018/19 - only Clement Depres has done the same.
- Presnel Kimpembé has been involved in a Ligue 1 goal for the first time in his career, in his 56th game.
- Edinson Cavani has scored against each of the 30 teams he has faced in his career in Ligue 1.


What's next?

PSG will be confident of making it five from five when they entertain Saint-Etienne ahead of their Champions League opener at Liverpool, while Nimes face tough away trips to Bordeaux and Monaco when domestic duties resume after the international break.

Related items

  • Alvaro Gonzalez becomes Villas-Boas' first Marseille signing Alvaro Gonzalez becomes Villas-Boas' first Marseille signing

    Alvaro Gonzalez has become Andre Villas-Boas' first signing at Marseille after joining on an initial one-season loan from LaLiga side Villarreal.

    The agreement includes an option for Marseille to purchase the Spanish centre-back on a permanent basis.

    It is the first time the 29-year-old has played outside his homeland and he will be tasked with shoring up a defence that shipped 52 goals in Ligue 1 last season.

    His arrival comes as a welcome boost for ex-Chelsea boss Villas-Boas, who has endured a difficult few weeks since replacing Rudi Garcia.

    Marseille lost 2-1 to Accrington Stanley in a friendly in Manchester and were then routed 4-0 by Rangers at Ibrox.

    Star striker Mario Balotelli left the club on a free transfer at the end of last term.

  • Bulgaria ordered to partially close stadium against England following fan racism Bulgaria ordered to partially close stadium against England following fan racism

    Bulgaria have been ordered to partially close their national stadium for Euro 2020 qualifiers against England and Czech Republic following racist behaviour by fans.

    UEFA on Friday announced sanctions following incidents of racism in Bulgaria's past two matches in June, at home to Kosovo and away to Czech Republic.

    For the incident in the Czech Republic match, Bulgaria have been told to make 5,000 seats in the Vasil Levski stadium unavailable to supporters for the October 14 clash with England.

    In the empty space, the Bulgarian Football Union has been told to display an "#EqualGame" UEFA banner.

    The same banner will be in place for the November 17 match against Czech Republic, with 3,000 seats closed off to supporters as punishment for behaviour in the Kosovo game.

    UEFA closed disciplinary proceedings against Latvia for alleged racist behaviour in their clash with Israel last month, but the Romania Under-21 team will see at least 2,000 seats closed for their next home match.

    This comes following racist behaviour by fans at the Romanian youngsters' European Under-21 Championship win over Croatia last month, and the Romanian Football Federation has been fined €2,000 due to fireworks and objects being thrown.

    UEFA also fined Greece €63,500 and Ukraine €15,250 for offences including the setting off of fireworks.

    The Greece match against Italy on June 8 also included a late kick-off, for which disciplinary proceedings against head coach Angelos Anastasiadis have been closed.

  • Lampard wants Zouma to stay at Chelsea Lampard wants Zouma to stay at Chelsea

    Frank Lampard intends to keep Kurt Zouma at Chelsea despite Everton's interest in the defender.

    Zouma made 32 Premier League appearances during a loan spell at Goodison Park last term and the Toffees are reportedly keen to seal a permanent deal for the 24-year-old.

    But after Zouma started Friday's friendly defeat to Kawasaki Frontale in Yokohama, Lampard said he wants the France international to remain at Stamford Bridge.

    "In terms of Kurt Zouma, he's a very good defender for us, very good player, very good person and professional," Lampard told a news conference. 

    "I want him here, simple as that. We are competitive with the centre-backs we have in the team and he had a very good season at Everton and I can understand why they want him. He's a Chelsea player and I want him."

    Chelsea's transfer ban means they cannot sign new players but Christian Pulisic made his first appearance for the club against Frontale, who won 1-0 thanks to a late Leandro Damiao header.

    Kenedy and Mason Mount also featured in the J.League World Challenge clash as Lampard continues to examine his options ahead of the transfer window closing next month.

    "In terms of Kenedy, my feeling coming into a big squad with a transfer ban was that I need to assess the players for as long as I can in pre-season to make sure we pick a squad with me having had good eyes on them in training and in games," added Lampard, who coached Mount at Derby County last term.

    "I thought Mason's performance was really good and it was a continuation of how he played for me last year and how he's trained for me since last Friday as he's not been with us long, but his energy and his quality…Mason's part of the first-team squad this year and it's time for him."

    Pulisic's Blues debut also impressed Lampard, who tasted defeat for the first time in his third game in charge since succeeding Maurizio Sarri.

    "He has been here a couple of days really in terms of training, so I have been really impressed," Lampard said of the United States international. "He's comfortable on the ball and I think he should have had a penalty towards the end of the game.

    "He wants to try to take people on, he's the sort of player the fans are going to like so we have to give him a little bit of time to adapt slightly. But the way he has trained, the way he has come in with his personality looks great so I am really pleased to have him."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.