Ander Herrera scored a brace as PSG brought high-flying Clermont Foot down to earth with a 4-0 thrashing to stay top of Ligue 1.
An under-strength PSG side made short work of a high-flying Clermont Foot side who were so far undefeated in Ligue 1. Mauricio Pochettino was without some of his biggest names following their participation in the South American qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Despite that, he had a number of top players to call upon in what was a comfortable win.
Clermont, to their credit, did their best and did not attempt to sit back and soak up the pressure. It is refreshing to see a side live by the tactics that have gotten them so far.
Both sides started the game well and there was initially little to separate them. Julian Draxler’s fine work helped Ander Herrera drive home PSG’s opener, handing the home side the initiative. Pochettino’s side largely dominated the proceedings from that point on. Arthur Desmas made a number of key saves but could do little to keep the deficit to one goal.
The Clermont keeper made another save from Kylian Mbappe but could only divert it into the path of Herrera, who once again drove in the rebound to make the score 2-0. Second-half strikes from Mbappe and Idrissa Gueye made the score 4-0, giving PSG a healthy victory margin.
PSG have won all five of their games in Ligue 1 so far and are comfortably top of the division. We now take a look at how the PSG players performed on the day.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (6/10)
The Italian international made his long-awaited debut and came away with a clean sheet to show for it. Made a straightforward save from Jodel Dossou and had little else to do otherwise.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) September 11, 2021
Achraf Hakimi (7/10)
The former Inter Milan star continued his fine run of form and looked excellent all game. It was his bursting run into the box that set up Herrera’s opener. He was taken off in the 74th minute and can now prepare himself for the upcoming Champions League fixture against Club Brugge.
The Brazilian had to be alert against the plucky Clermont side that refused to give up. Read the game well and organized the backline suitably to stifle the opposition. Showed why he is one of the best defenders in Europe.
Presnel Kimpembe (7/10)
The vice-captain was alert on the day and stepped up when needed. Made a couple of good blocks and even came out of defence with the ball. Taken off for the teenager Nathan Bitumazala in the 80th minute.
Abdou Diallo (7/10)
The Senegalese international was excellent in both attack and defence and impressed. He almost put in Mbappe with a neat ball in the second half and went on to embarrass Elbasan Rashani with some nifty footwork in the final minutes. The home crowd sure loved that.
Danilo Pereira (6/10)
Started on the right of a midfield three and was eclipsed by his teammates in the middle of the park. Played the whole ninety minutes and essayed his role. Lacked any standout moments, however.
Idriss Gueye (7/10)
The 31-year-old was dominant in midfield and got stuck in without a second thought. Held his wits against a lively Clermont side and helped his side seize the initiative. Rewarded for his efforts with a goal in the second half.
Ander Herrera (9/10)
PSG’s best player on the pitch. The Spaniard was everywhere and was not afraid to get stuck in when needed. Stepped up in the absence of the big names and took both of his goals well. He also provided the assist for Mbappe’s strike. A sensational performance by the veteran who can consider himself undroppable if he keeps it up.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) September 11, 2021
The least impressive of PSG’s front three, the 28-year-old had his moments will need to do much better if he is to get more game time in the first XI.
Kylian Mbappe (8/10)
The French international shook off a knock to spearhead the PSG attack. Led the line well and took his goal with a well-taken strike in the 55th minute, beating three players on the way. Was taken off in the 80th minute for a deserved rest.
Kylian Mbappe has now scored four goals in five games for PSG 🥶 pic.twitter.com/cjhFXVC10G
— Goal (@goal) September 11, 2021
Julian Draxler (7/10)
The German star was a consistent menace and caused Clermont much trouble. He played a key role in attack and contributed to some of PSG’s best-attacking movements. Draxler kept going until the end and forced Arthur Desmas into a save. The only thing he lacked on the day was a goal. Taken off for Nuno Mendes in the 86th minute.
Thilo Kehrer (6/10)
Came on for Hakimi in the 72nd minute and went on to be part of a solid PSG rearguard. Quiet but solid performance and proved himself to be a dependable option off the bench.
Eric Junior Dina Emimbe (7/10)
Replaced Gueye in the 72nd minute and kept things simple in the middle of the park. It was just his third appearance for the club but showed the bottle to hold his own against top-flight opposition.
Mauro Icardi (NA)
Replaced Mbappe with ten minutes to go. Having come off an injury himself, the scoreline gave Pochettino the opportunity to give the Argentine a runout. Had a couple of opportunities to run at the Clermont defence but lacked the pace to make the difference.
Nathan Bitumazala (NA)
A memorable moment for the 18-year-old who came on for the impressive Kimpembe in the 80th minute. It was his first senior appearance for the Parisians and hopefully the first of many.
Nuno Mendes (NA)
The Portuguese wonderkid replaced Julian Draxler in the 86th minute. Did not really have much time to make an impact.