Mauro Icardi scores a last-minute header as PSG steal a late 3-2 win over Saint-Etienne in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
PSG remain in the fight for the Ligue 1 title after securing a late and entertaining 3-2 win over Saint-Etienne. The victory helps them bridge the gap at the top to just one point, with LOSC Lille drawing their game with Montpellier on Friday.
It was an excellent game of football, although it didn’t really had the best of starts as both teams tried their best to find the breakthrough. It led to a cagey affair, with both teams largely restricted to tame efforts on goal as they drew goalless at half-time. In fact, it wasn’t until the 78th minute when Saint-Etienne found a breakthrough.
Their lead did not last long, however, as Kylian Mbappe levelled things up moments after, before giving his team the lead by converting a penalty which he had won himself. It seemed like the key to all three points, but there was late drama in store as Saint-Etienne restored parity in the 2nd minute of the five-minute injury time.
However, even that wasn’t enough as the Saints ended up conceding a late late goal from Mauro Icardi, whose header sealed all three points for the hosts. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the PSG players in their hard-fought win over Saint-Etienne this weekend.
Sergio Rico: 5/10
Although the scoreline may suggest otherwise, it was largely a quiet game for Sergio Rico as PSG did dominate possession for a significant portion of the game. The Spaniard did have a slightly busier second half where he had to remain vigilant, but in truth, he couldn’t have done anything in between the sticks. He most notably spilt Bouanga’s cross to concede the late equaliser.
Alessandro Florenzi: 6/10
Returning to the starting eleven after a long injury layoff, Alessandro Florenzi was usually seen making a host of forward runs as he so often does. His crosses, though, were mostly ineffective while the Italian was also challenged defensively. He did well, at times, but it was largely a mediocre display from the right-back.
Thilo Kehrer: 7/10
Thilo Kehrer started at the heart of the PSG defence, in the absence of Marquinhos and produced a solid display. He made a host of crucial interceptions and recycled possession multiple times, helping PSG keep Saint-Etienne at bay. A promising display from the former Schalke star, who does have the potential to become a real defensive asset for Mauricio Pochettino.
Presnel Kimpembe: 7/10
Presnel Kimpembe was solid at the back, as one would expect. However, one little lack of concentration led to Saint-Etienne’s opener, while the Frenchman couldn’t have done anything to keep out the late goal from Charles Abi.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 18, 2021
Mitchell Bakker: 6/10
Mitchell Bakker didn’t have the best of games in the left-back position, often getting troubled by the likes of Hamouma, especially in the second half. Offensively, the youngster lacked accuracy and end product in his crosses and didn’t provide enough support for the attackers for the large parts of the game.
Danilo Pereira: 6.5/10
Danilo Pereira was shifted to a midfield role in light of the absence of Leandro Paredes and Idrissa Gueye. The Portuguese international, it seems, is better fitted in a more defensive role as he often lacked the creativity in possession. In fact, Danilo wasn’t even involved much in the game, aside from playing out short, non-progressive passes in midfield.
Ander Herrera: 7.5/10
Ander Herrera had a great game in the middle of the park, using his aggression and tenacity to good effect. The former Manchester United man created multiple turnovers in midfield as well, often disrupting the flow of the opposition. In addition, it was his accurate through ball that led to Kylian Mbappe’s first goal. An excellent effort from the Spaniard.
Pablo Sarabia: 6/10
Speaking of Spaniards, Pablo Sarabia did not fare well all too well. He offered nothing to the table, aside from a free kick that hit the post and led to a slim scoring opportunity. He was deservedly taken off midway through the second half.
Rafinha was another player who simply couldn’t influence the game. He was solid in possession, keeping things neat and tidy, but lacked the quality to penetrate the lines of the opposition with a defence-threading pass. Much like Sarabia, Rafinha, too, was taken in the 67th minute in favour of Marco Verratti.
Moise Kean: 4/10
Moise Kean was arguably the worst performing player for PSG as he offered nothing to the table and struggled to get himself involved in the game. It ultimately forced Kylian Mbappe to operate in a more central role, with Kean himself being taken off midway through the second half.
Kylian Mbappe: 8.5/10
Kylian Mbappe was once again the main difference between the two sides as the Frenchman was simply too good for the Saint-Etienne defence at times. His first goal, in particular, stemmed from sheer brilliance while he was also heavily involved in most of PSG’s attacking moments. Also won the penalty in the final few minutes and converted it himself to help his team get on the front foot.
Kylian Mbappé has now scored 41 goals in 48 Ligue 1 games since the start of last season.
Six more than any other player. 🌟 pic.twitter.com/M83KGppRgC
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 18, 2021
Angel Di Maria: 8/10
Angel Di Maria replaced Sarabia in the 67th minute and caused all sorts of problems for the Saint-Etienne defence. His trickery in possession coupled with a seemingly telepathic understanding with Mbappe was key behind PSG’s inspired comeback late in the game.
Marco Verratti: 7.5/10
Marco Verratti added the element of creativity that was missing in the PSG attack. after replacing Rafinha in the 67th minute. He truly is a class apart.
Mauro Icardi: 7.5/10
Mauro Icardi may not have been as influential as Di Maria after coming on in the 67th minute, but it was his header that helped PSG steal all three points in the final minute of the game.
MAURO ICARDI WINS IT FOR PSG 🤯
PSG looked to have blown the comeback when St Etienne equalised in the 92nd minute…
But that is a MASSIVE goal in the Ligue 1 title race 🔥 pic.twitter.com/t9j1czOiCq
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 18, 2021
Colin Dagba: N/A
A late replacement for Florenzi. Added more defensive solidity to the PSG backline, but did not play enough to warrant a rating.