Rennes 1-4 Paris Saint Germain: Neymar inspires PSG to a thrilling victory

Neymar scored twice and set up two more on his return to the first team as PSG thrashed Rennes 4-1 to restore their 9 point lead at the top of the table. 

Emery’s men took the lead inside 4 minutes when Kylian Mbappe found Neymar in style to walk it in, and the Brazilian returned the favour not long later when Mbappe was left with a tap in for himself.

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Image by PSG.fr

Edinson Cavani was still left goalless in December at the break despite being denied serval times from close range. Rennes found themselves back in with a chance at the start of the second half when Mubele capitalised on poor defending from the Parisiens following a corner.

Any hopes of an unlikely comeback were short lived, however, once they were reduced to ten men after Andre was deservedly sent off for two yellow cards in the 63rd minute, after a nasty tackle on Neymar was followed by another on Presnel Kimpembe.

Two quick-fire goals then killed off all hope for the hosts. Cavani eventually made his way onto the score sheet on his 150th appearance for PSG and ended his goal drought with a sweet lob. Less than a minute later the rampant Parisiens took full advantage of the extra man. The MCN all linked up in a fast following attack which ended in Neymar’s second of the game.

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Image by PSG.fr

The visitors were unfortunate not to add to their four goals, especially after Mbappe produced a moment of magic to sprint past everyone in his way but only to see his shot saved.

PSG also had a man sent off themselves when Kimpembe was given his marching orders late on for a second bookable offence. The foul resulted in a penalty which Rennes substitute Wahbi Khazri ballooned over the bar.

The victory in their final away game of the year means Paris have lifted themselves back into prime position and nine points clear of the chasing pack

Positives 

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Image by PSG.fr

You can’t look past Neymar as the standout performer from yesterday’s game. Back in the team, the worlds most expensive player was outstanding with his two goals and two assists. His performance was arguably one of his best since coming to France and fittingly earned himself a 9/10 rating by L’Equipe.

The rest of the MCN were on fire in Rennes. Cavani was typical Cavani, missed many clear cut chances only to score a the pick of the four goals with a world class finish, and Mbappe tormented the Rennes defence with his incredible pace all game.

Lo Celso also had a decent game from the start and the introduction of Thiago Motta back from injury is a massive boost for the Parisiens.

Negatives

As it has been evident all season, the PSG defence was once again exposed to it’s vulnerabilities. The corner that the hosts scored from was defended appallingly and fixing this obvious weakness will key for Emery and Antero Henrique during the winter break and through the January transfer window.

Presnel Kimpembe was also a victim to his inexperience. There was no need for the young French centre back to pick up a second yellow card which puts stress on an already weakened position in the build up to the Caen match in midweek.

Player Ratings

Areola (6) Dani Alves (6) Marquinhos (6) Kimpembe (4) Berchiche (5) Draxler (6) Lo Celso (7) Verratti (6) Mbappe (8) Cavani (7) Neymar (9)

Man of the Match – Neymar

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Image by PSG.fr

There’s not much else to be said about Neymar’s first class performance in Rennes. His involvement in all four goals brings his tally to 11 goals and 6 assists in a mere 8 matches in Ligue 1 and has sealed a strong position for the capital side at the top of the table as we get closer to the winter break in France.

What’s Next?

PSG’s last competitive game of 2017 see’s them take on Caen in front of the Parc Des Princes on Wednesday 20th December. A win could see Paris go 12 points clear of the rest at Christmas and cap off a near perfect start to the 2017/18 season.

 

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