Kylian Mbappe stars once again as PSG secure a 4-2 win over RC Strasbourg even without the services of Lionel Messi and Neymar.
PSG retained their place at the top of the Ligue 1 table with a 4-2 victory over RC Strasbourg on Saturday. It was the first home game of this season for the French giants, with fans hoping to see Lionel Messi make his debut for the club.
Unfortunately, the Argentine was not included in the teamsheet but was a spectator at the packed Parc des Princes as his new team dominated Strasbourg for the entirety of the first half. They were helped by an early opener from Mauro Icardi, paving the way for Les Parisiens to dictate the tempo of the game.
PSG’s dominance paid dividends when they doubled their lead in the 25th minute through Kylian Mbappe before Julian Draxler added the third minutes later. It was turning out to be a long night for RC Strasbourg.
However, the minnows remained resilient and made a strong comeback in the second half. Goals from Kevin Gameiro and Ludovic Ajorque certainly lifted the spirits in the Strasbourg camp. But their hopes of turning the tide were vanquished Alexander Djiku picked up his second yellow card and was sent off.
Moments later, PSG sealed all three points by scoring the fourth through substitute Pablo Sarabia. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over Les Parisiens in their performance over RC Strasbourg at Parc des Princes this weekend.
Keylor Navas: 6.5/10
Keylor Navas didn’t have much to do at all, during the first half of the game. He was busier after the restart, though and was even beaten quite comfortably twice. Both of them were from headers, leaving the Costa Rican helpless in between the sticks. He made amends by making one crucial save to deny a late opportunity for Strasbourg to make it 4-3.
Achraf Hakimi: 6.5/10
Achraf Hakimi certainly wasn’t as influential as he was in the opening game against Troyes. Nevertheless, the right-back produced a decent amount of offensive work rate, offering width and passing options for the attackers. Defensively, though, he could have done much better to prevent Ajorque from getting acres of space for Strasbourg’s second goal.
Thilo Kehrer: 6/10
Thilo Kehrer played well for his part, keeping things neat and tidy during the initial stages of the game. He looked a bit clumsy after the restart, much like most of his teammates and could have done better to prevent Gameiro from scoring. Still needs to improve his game in order to compete with Marquinhos.
Presnel Kimpembe: 5/10
Presnel Kimpembe was directly responsible for marking both Ajorque and Gameiro, two of Strasbourg’s goalscorers. A sloppy bit of defensive performance in the second half undid all the good work he had done in the first 45 minutes. The Frenchman clearly needs to be more consistent, as he often struggles under pressure.
Abdou Diallo: 7.5/10
Abdou Diallo committed the error that may have led to Strasbourg’s third of the night. Aside from that, the former Dortmund man made a solid impression at left-back. He combined well with Kylian Mbappe out wide while providing the assist for Icardi’s early opener. A promising display indeed from the centre-back who has scope to become a regular out wide.
Eric Ebimbe: 6/10
It was not the best of performances from Eric Ebimbe, who was making his full debut. The youngster did not provide anything substantial to the table for his team, struggling offensively. He was also quite passive defensively while clumsy at other times, eventually getting replaced by Danilo Pereira around the hour mark. Boasts a lot of potential and will improve with more game-time.
Ander Herrera: 6.5/10
One of the stars for PSG last weekend, Ander Herrera was not at his best this time around. His trademark long balls were missing as Strasbourg defended deep. It led to a passive performance from the former Manchester United midfielder, although he should continue to play a key role in Mauricio Pochettino’s setup.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6.5/10
Georginio Wijnaldum positively impacted the game, at least until the half-hour mark. But his performance sort of faded away after the point, with the former Liverpool midfielder simply not being involved enough to make a substantial difference to the proceedings. It was a similar story in the second half, as he made way for Rafinha late in the game.
Julian Draxler: 7.5/10
Julian Draxler was one of the better performers for PSG in this encounter. He looked sharp offensively, notably playing a vital role in the build-up to the second goal while scoring the third himself. His influence did fade as the game progressed but it was his early impact that ended up becoming the difference between the two sides.
PSG have already won the league.
Front 3 of Mbappe, Icardi and Draxler have scored one each already in the first half.
No Messi, no Di Maria and no Neymar.
— IG: sohsoh_d (@SohSoh_D) August 14, 2021
Mauro Icardi: 7/10
Mauro Icardi showed exactly why he could still play a vital role for PSG despite the arrival of Lionel Messi by producing a hard-working display in the number nine role. He is, after all, his club’s only traditional centre-forward and his early goal was critical in helping PSG dominate the proceedings, at least in the first half.
Kylian Mbappe: 8/10
At this point, it is needless to say who was the main difference-maker for PSG. Always an electric presence out wide, Mbappe played a crucial role in the third goal while scoring the second. His efficiency inside the box is truly exemplary, with the Frenchman capping off his performance with a late assist to feed Sarabia. It will be interesting to see how Mbappe links with the likes of Neymar and Messi once they become available.
PSG went 3-0 up after 27 minutes.
Kylian Mbappe is putting on a show for Lionel Messi and Neymar 🍿 pic.twitter.com/Cdv2vwyl5o
— Goal (@goal) August 14, 2021
Danilo Pereira: 6/10
Danilo Pereira was brought in around the hour mark to offer more stability in the middle of the park for PSG. The Portuguese international didn’t quite succeed, though he was able to pass around.
Pablo Sarabia: 6.5/10
Pablo Sarabia made a telling impact after coming on for Draxler in the 70th minute. Although not as influential as the German, the attacker still scored a late tap in to add more gloss to the scoreline.
A late replacement for Wijnaldum. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Arnaud Kalimuendo: N/A
A late replacement for Icardi. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.