Mbappe back but PSG suffer another defeatBreaking

January 17, 2023

Kylian Mbappe made his return from a post-World Cup holiday but Paris St Germain went down 1-0 away to Stade Rennais in Ligue 1 on Sun≠day, a result which leaves them just three points clear at the top of the table halfway through the season. Rennes, who have won a club record ninth consecutive home game in the top flight, prevailed thanks to Hamari Traoreís second-half goal as the visitors suffered their second loss in three league outings.

PSG have 47 points from 19 games while second-placed RC Lens are on 44, with Olympique de Marseille third two points further adrift. Despite the win, Rennes slipped down to fifth on 37 points, behind Monaco on goal difference after the principality side destroyed AC Ajaccio 7-1 earlier on Sunday with a Wissam Ben Yedder hat-trick. I am disappointed with our performance because we conceded too many chances and created nothing,î said PSG coach Christophe Galtier, who complained of a ìtotal absence of a presence in the penalty boxî after opting to leave Mbappe on the bench at kick-off. This was the first time that Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar had appeared on the pitch together since PSGís superstar attacking trio returned from the World Cup.

Messi had been afforded an extended holiday after guiding Argentina to glory in Doha and scored on his return in a 2-0 win against Angers in midweek. Mbappe, scorer of a hat-trick for France in the World Cup final as they lost on penalties to Argentina, had played in his clubís first two games after the tournament before missing their last two as he took a holiday in New York with teammate Achraf Hakimi.

Hugo Ekitike started up front alongside Messi and Neymar. Mbappe replaced Ekitike in the 56th minute yet Rennes went ahead soon after as their Malian right-back Traore swept in a cutback from Adrien Truffert in the 65th minute. PSGís Juan Bernat had a half-volley tipped over the bar by Steve Mandanda in the 81st before the capital side threw everything at Rennes in vain.

Credit : Independent News Pakistan-INP