Nantes 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain: Icardi and Kehrer get win in Neymar's absence

By Sports Desk February 04, 2020

Mauro Icardi and Thilo Kehrer were on target as Paris Saint-Germain ground out a 2-1 win against Nantes in the absence of Neymar at La Beaujoire on Tuesday.

The build-up to the game was overshadowed by talk of discontent at PSG, with Thomas Tuchel frustrated by Neymar's decision to hold a birthday party on Sunday and Kylian Mbappe reacting angrily to being substituted in Saturday's 5-0 victory over Montpellier.

The announcement that Neymar would miss the trip to Nantes with a rib injury consequently proved controversial, but Icardi and Kehrer put the visitors on the path to what looked set to be a routine win.

Moses Simon capitalised on an error from Presnel Kimpembe in the 68th minute to set up a tense final but PSG held on to make it seven straight wins in all competitions and extend their unbeaten run to 20 games.

Icardi saw his first effort in the third minute denied by Denis Petric, while Mbappe had a penalty appeal ignored after going down under pressure from Andrei Girotto.

Mbappe raced in behind the Nantes defence but lifted his attempt over, before Kimpembe saw a header cleared off the line by Abdoul Kader Bamba.

PSG got the breakthrough their attacking play deserved in the 29th minute when Mbappe sprinted beyond Girotto and cut the ball back to Angel Di Maria, whose sweeping shot found the bottom-right corner with the help of the slightest of deflections off Icardi.

Girotto's attempt to cut out a cross from Di Maria sent the ball crashing against his own crossbar early in the second half, but they doubled their lead in the 57th minute when the Argentine's corner was headed home by Kehrer.

Nantes responded positively and Kimpembe's attempt to flick a heavy pass from Marco Verratti to Kehrer was intercepted by Simon, who raced away and tucked a cool finish beyond Keylor Navas.

Substitute Thomas Meunier was kept at bay by Petric in the 90th minute and Renaud Emond missed a glorious chance to equalise in stoppage time, sending a tame volley too close to Navas.

Related items

  • Areola returns to PSG from Madrid amid Premier League rumours Areola returns to PSG from Madrid amid Premier League rumours

    Alphonse Areola has returned to Paris Saint-Germain from Real Madrid amid reports he is set for a Premier League move.

    The goalkeeper joined Los Blancos on a season-long loan last September to provide cover for number one Thibaut Courtois, with Keylor Navas having moved in the opposite direction in a permanent deal.

    Areola made just nine appearances for LaLiga's champions, though, and the Frenchman has been tipped to move on again with game time unlikely at PSG.

    "Real Madrid confirmed they have brought Alphonse Areola's loan spell to an end," a team statement read.

    "The club would like to thank Areola for his dedication, professionalism and exemplary conduct this season and wishes him the best of luck in this new chapter.

    "Real Madrid also thanks PSG for the chance to have had Alphonse Areola as part of our squad."

    Reports in the English media said 27-year-old Areola has bought a house in London ahead of a potential move to the Premier League.

    Chelsea have been credited with an interest as the Blues appear keen to find a buyer for Kepa Arrizabalaga.

    Arsenal were also touted as a potential destination to provide extra cover after Emiliano Martinez deputised when Bernd Leno sustained a knee injury in June, although the Argentinian's brilliant performances mean such a scenario may be unlikely.

  • Rumour Has It: Man Utd not giving up on Sancho, Havertz nearing Chelsea move Rumour Has It: Man Utd not giving up on Sancho, Havertz nearing Chelsea move

    The Jadon Sancho transfer saga continues to ramble on.

    Borussia Dortmund insist Sancho will not leave following Monday's apparent deadline, while Manchester United are still eyeing the English sensation.

    Will Sancho be gracing Old Trafford in 2020-21?

     

    TOP STORY – UNITED STILL TARGETING SANCHO

    Manchester United are not giving up on signing Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to reports in the UK.

    United were dealt a blow on Monday when Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said Sancho will remain with the Bundesliga club in 2020-21.

    Despite United's frustration over negotiations, the Independent and Goal claim the Red Devils are still pursuing the England international.

     

    ROUND-UP

    Kai Havertz is closing in on a move to Chelsea, reports the Evening Standard. The Bayer Leverkusen star is "desperate" to join Chelsea following the German club's Europa League exit on Monday.

    Andrea Pirlo's Juventus overhaul is underway. Calciomercato and Tuttomercatoweb say Blaise Matuidi is set to move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. Aaron Ramsey, Gonzalo Higuain, Sami Khedira, Daniele Rugani, Mattia De Sciglio and Douglas Costa are also on the chopping block following Maurizio Sarri's exit. United have been linked with a move for Costa.

    - Sky Sport reports Chelsea and Barcelona are battling to sign Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico. Atletico Madrid are also reportedly interested.

    Milan are looking to re-sign star midfielder Franck Kessie, according to Calciomercato. Kessie is wanted by city rivals Inter.

    - L'Equipe says Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes is set to decide his future. Gabriel will choose between United, Arsenal, Everton and Napoli. RMC and L'Equipe, meanwhile, report Gent star Jonathan David will undergo a medical at Lille on Tuesday ahead of his €32million transfer.

  • Leverkusen boss Bosz jokes about Havertz transfer amid Chelsea links Leverkusen boss Bosz jokes about Havertz transfer amid Chelsea links

    Bayer Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz joked that Chelsea target Kai Havertz will join Heracles Almelo after the German side lost in the Europa League quarter-finals.

    Leverkusen's Europa League campaign came to an end on Monday, beaten 2-1 by Serie A side Inter in Dusseldorf.

    Nicolo Barella and Romelu Lukaku had given Inter a commanding lead inside 21 minutes, before Havertz reduced the deficit three minutes later.

    Havertz has been tipped to leave Leverkusen for Premier League giants Chelsea once the 2019-20 season has concluded, and Bosz was asked whether the Germany international had played his final match for the club.

    "Yes, I can exclusively announce he'll play for [Dutch outfit] Heracles Almelo," Bosz, who previously coached Heracles in two separated spells, said during his post-match news conference.

    Reflecting on the match, Bosz added: "We lost against a great opponent. We didn't play well in the first 20 minutes and had problems dealing with Lukaku, then things improved and we thought that we'd turn it around. We could've done better and are disappointed.

    "Marcelo Brozovic was allowed far too much freedom in the middle of the park and we had to make changes after those initial 20 minutes. As for Lukaku, he's just too strong in one-on-one situations.

    "We moved [Moussa] Diaby to the left, because they were pressing our wide men, and Diego Godin doesn't like coming out from the back, so we had more space then to build."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.