Kylian Mbappe marked his return to the pitch with a brace, helping Paris Saint-Germain secure a win over Montpellier, albeit via penalties.
Paris Saint-Germain advanced to the final of the Coupe de France after securing a win over Montpellier on penalties. The defending French champions were initially held 2-2 and had to rely on a missed penalty from Salomon Sambia to get them off the line.
While the scoreline might suggest otherwise, PSG weren’t all that bad, though, especially in the early phases of the game as they managed to create multiple scoring opportunities. They were rewarded quite early as well, with Kylian Mbappe scoring the opener inside the first ten minutes.
Les Parisien continued to create a plethora of opportunities but were wasteful in front of goal. It opened up an opportunity for Montpellier to sneak up on them, as the hosts netted the equaliser just before half-time. PSG, though, were quick to re-establish their lead just five minutes after the restart, but they continued to appear wasteful in front of goal – failing to find the third.
It turned out to be extremely costly at the end, as Andy Delort managed to equalise in the 82nd minute, forcing the game to penalties. Fortunately for them, Sambia’s powerful effort missed the target in first of the Sudden Death round, with Moise Kean converting the penultimate strike to seal the win for his side.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the PSG players in their tense win over Montpellier in this Coupe de France semi-final this midweek.
Keylor Navas: 6.5/10
Keylor Navas couldn’t have anything to save Gaetan Laborde’s incredible effort in the first half, as the host arrowed into the top corner of the net. The PSG goalkeeper, though, made a solid save to deny Mihailo Ristic’s thunderbolt effort in the effort, but was beaten moments later, as Delort scored from a tap in. Neither of the goals were his fault, though.
Alessandro Florenzi: 6.5/10
Alessandro Florenzi was immense in the first half, moving forward at regular intervals to cause all sorts of problems for Montpellier defence. He, in fact, played a key role in the build-up to the first goal while also producing a few excellent crosses from the far side. His performance, though, did dissipate as the game progressed, with the right-back appearing too passive against Laborde for the first equaliser.
Marquinhos marshalled the PSG backline, as usual, using his leadership and composure to keep things neat and tidy at the back for the visitors. He read the danger well, too, not allowing too many clear cut opportunities for Montpeller. Unfortunately, the PSG skipper was not offered the desired defensive support, as he failed to keep track of Delort for the second goal.
PSG are Coupe de France finalists after a 6-5 penalty shootout win over Montpellier.
Angel Di Maria ✅
Julian Draxler ✅
Leandro Daniel Paredes ✅
Moise Kean ✅
The game went to spot-kicks after a 2-2 draw in which Kylian Mbappe scored twice. pic.twitter.com/hQSIqrZkPB
— bwin (@bwin) May 12, 2021
Abdou Diallo: 6/10
Filling in for the absence of the suspended Presnel Kimpembe, Abdou Diallo looked decent for the most part. He distributed possession well, taking care of the occasional danger. However, the former Dortmund man started to struggle when Montpellier did really push for the second equaliser. Not the most polished defensive display one would expect from the PSG centre-back.
Mitchell Bakker: 5/10
The decision to start Mitchell Bakker did not pay off for Mauricio Pochettino. The youngster, though comfortable offensively, had a miserable time in dealing with the threat of Laborde. He was, in fact, culpable for the second goal, as he was nowhere to seen even during the final phase of the game, allowing the Montpellier winger to make an incisive run in behind the backline.
Rafinha Alcantara: 7/10
Rafinha was introduced to the starting lineup to offer more control in PSG’s game. The former Barcelona star did exactly that, producing some useful forward passes while keeping things neat and tidy in possession. He wasn’t able to really dominate the game, but did his part to help PSG emerge as the better side.
Leandro Paredes: 6/10
Operating at the base of PSG’s 4-3-3, Leandro Paredes had a relatively straightforward role in the middle of the park. He was mostly seen circulating possession, occasionally releasing the attackers with a forward pass. It did help PSG control the game, but became a problem later on when Montpellier upped the ante.
Idrissa Gueye: 7.5/10
Idrissa Gueye looked in inspiring touch right from the start, causing all sorts of problems for the Montpellier defence with his driving runs forward. The former Evertonian expertly used the spaces in between the lines to penetrate the opposition, notably producing two excellent chances in the first 15 minutes, one of which even led to the opener.
Suddenly Idrissa Gueye is slicing Montpelier's defense like prime Kaka.
— 🇪🇹 Eskender Tamrat ⚽️ (@eskeFussball) May 12, 2021
Gueye’s influence eventually took a hit later on, but it was still an excellent display from the midfielder, who will hope to replicate this performance in the upcoming game against Reims.
Pablo Sarabia: 6/10
Pablo Sarabia looked in good touch, as far as the creativity was concerned. He was determined to create opportunities for his teammates, but at the same time, he was wasteful in front of goal. In addition to his misses, the Spaniard was also denied a goal thanks to an excellent save from the Montpellier goalkeeper, as he eventually made way for Angel Di Maria in the 72nd minute.
Mauro Icardi: 7/10
Mauro Icardi should have scored at least two goals in the first half, but the PSG striker never really managed to force Dimitry Bertaud into making a save. Icardi, though, worked hard to create chances for his team and was later denied a goal thanks to another save from the Montpellier custodian.
Kylian Mbappe: 8/10
Returning to the starting lineup after missing the last few matches, Kylian Mbappe was the brightest spark in the PSG attack. His pace and dynamism were simply too much for the opposition, as they conceded an early goal and was close to letting in another. The attacker did at least one clear cut opportunities, but his overall influence on the game was immense.
Too good, too quick! Another goal for @KMbappe! ⚽️💪🏼
— mbappegoals (@mbappegoals_) May 12, 2021
Julian Draxler: 6/10
Julian Draxler didn’t make much of a difference after coming on for Rafinha during the final phase of the game.
Angel Di Maria: 6/10
Angel Di Maria lost the ball that led to the Montpellier counter-attack, with Delort eventually finding the equaliser. The Argentine did score from the penalty, though.
Danilo Pereira: N/A
A late replacement for Gueye. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Moise Kean: N/A
A late replacement for Mbappe, whose strike from the spot sealed the win for PSG. Didn’t play enough to warrant a rating.
Neymar was introduced just after the Delort equaliser. It appears Mauricio Pochettino was saving him for the Reims game, so the attacker did not play enough to warrant a rating either.