Achraf Hakimi and Mauro Icardi were on target as PSG came back from a goal down to defeat newly-promoted Troyes 2-1 to start their 2021/22 Ligue 1 with a win.
PSG did not make the best of starts to the game as Troyes, who were the champions of Ligue 2 last season, pulled in front just nine minutes through Oualid Al-Hajjam’s powerful header at Stade de l’Aube on Saturday.
However, Mauricio Pochettino’s side struck back in the 19th minute as Ander Herrera picked out new signing Achraf Hakimi with a fine pass and the Moroccan full-back found the back of the net with precision to level things up for PSG.
Halfway through the first period, Les Parisiens went in front, with Herrera involved again as he found Kylian Mbappe in space, who in turn centred the ball for Mauro Icardi and the Argentine made no mistake, striking an outside-foot finish for 2-1.
The second half was a pedestrian affair with neither team creating as many opportunities. And even though Troyes did threaten to equalise on a couple of occasions, the French capital club managed the game without any hiccups to begin the new season with a victory. Here are our player ratings for the PSG stars after a rather average display, but an important win.
Keylor Navas: 7/10
Not a lot he could have done about the goal, but the Costa Rican, who finds his place under threat following the arrival of Gianluigi Donnarumma, made a number of key saves to deny Renaud Ripart and Florian Tardieu on either side of half-time.
Achraf Hakimi: 7/10
Making his Ligue 1 debut, the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan man looked in fine fettle on the right. Looked to push forward at every given occasion, with one such move resulting in him equalising with a sumptuous effort. Not troubled a great deal defensively, although did get a booking. Positive signs for PSG.
Achraf Hakimi scored a rocket 19 minutes into his Ligue 1 debut 🚀
PSG have got themselves more than just a defender 🇲🇦 pic.twitter.com/yJavRxxoZ6
— Goal (@goal) August 7, 2021
Thilo Kehrer: 6/10
Given the nod at centre-back due to the absence of Marquinhos and Sergio Ramos, the German defender was caught out for the opening goal as he failed to track Al-Hajjam. Recovered well after that though, reading the game well to cut out any major threats.
Presnel Kimpembe: 6/10
A bit of a mixed bag for the Frenchman who was donning the captain’s armband on Saturday night. Forced the corner that led to the opener for the home team and there were a few moments when he was a tad bit over-aggressive. Nonetheless, played his part in keeping Troyes from scoring a second time.
Abdou Diallo: 5/10
Preferred over Laywin Kurzawa on the left side of the backline, the former Borussia Dortmund man wasn’t always the most assured at the back while he did not offer much in the way of attacking intent down his flank either.
Ander Herrera: 7/10
Getting a start in the absence of the likes of Marco Verratti, Leandro Paredes and Idrissa Gueye, the Spaniard made the most of his chance to showcase he has plenty to offer. Got the assist for the equaliser with a nice pass to Hakimi before playing Mbappe in behind the defence in the lead-up to the second. Grew tired as the game wore on, but did his job.
— Jonathan (@Crexativea) August 7, 2021
Danilo Pereira: 5.5/10
Came out second best in the duel with Al-Hajjam leading to the opening goal. Did make some vital interventions in midfield but at times looked a bit scratchy on the night. Capable of so much better.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5.5/10
A so-so debut for the Dutchman, who tried hard but not everything worked out for him. Looked out of tune with some of his teammates which is understandable as it is still early days for him in Paris.
Julian Draxler: 5/10
Deployed on the right flank, but given the freedom to drift across, the German had a few bright moments in the opening half-hour, but it was downhill from thereon, as he struggled to get into the game and make any notable contributions. A placeholder until the big names return.
Mauro Icardi: 6.5/10
After a shaky start, PSG took the lead thanks to a delightful finish from Mauro Icardi…
That slow-mo at the end 👌 pic.twitter.com/MIVpasTZqX
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 7, 2021
The Player to Watch in our match preview, Icardi showed good intent in the early exchanges and was rewarded for it as he scored what eventually proved to be the match-winning goal with a well-taken finish in the first half. Had another shot saved after the break. Not involved a great deal apart from that though.
Kylian Mbappe: 6/10
Started brightly early on even though he was not always able to get into goalscoring positions. Looked dangerous when on the ball and did well to set Icardi up for the goal. Played in another cross for the Argentine in the second half. Not at his best, however.
Eric Junior Dina Ebimbe: N/A
Replaced Draxler in the 76th minute. The 20-year-old showed some bright sparks.
Pablo Sarabia: N/A
90th minute sub for Mbappe.