Better late than never for Les Parisiens
Kylian Mbappé scored in injury time to extend Paris Saint-Germain’s winning run in Ligue 1 to four matches with a 1-0 win against a resilient Stade Rennais.
Following a 5-1 victory against reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille – marking consecutive four-goal margin league wins – PSG came into this contest against Rennes in form and eager to avenge their 2-0 loss in Breton in October.
But Rennes would be no pushovers. Having won more matches at Parc des Princes than any other side since the PSG Qatari era began in 2011/12, the ‘Red and Blacks’ fired early warning shots to make their mark in Paris once again.
First, Benjamin Bourigeaud’s first-time volley nearly deflected over a scrambling Keylor Navas before Baptiste Santamaria’s flicked header skimmed the outside of the post.
Despite Rennes’ early pressure, PSG soon showed the quality that had led to a recent three-match winning streak. Mbappé’s low curling effort thumped the post and a brave troop of Rennes defenders threw themselves in the way to divert Xavi Simons’ follow-up attempt just before HT.
Only one of the last 10 meetings between these sides was goalless at HT and the match looked poised to finish in the same vein, with Rennes seemingly happy to soak up pressure in an attempt to become just the second visiting club to take a point from the Parc des Princes in Ligue 1 this season.
The ‘Les Parisiens’ top-scorer Mbappé had other ideas when the striker thought he’d timed his run perfectly before driving his shot past Doğan Alemdar, only for VAR to rule out the strike for offside. But, PSG’s top scorer had one more bite of the cherry in added time as Lionel Messi found Mbappé with half a yard in the area, and he coolly curled into the bottom right corner.
The win extends PSG’s lead to 16 points atop the Ligue 1 standings and Mauricio Pochettino’s side will take confidence heading into their Champions League tussle with Real Madrid next week.
A bullish Rennes side could well have snatched the points for a first league double against PSG since the 2008/09 season, but Bruno Génési’s side were dealt a hammer blow for a fourth straight away loss.