Kylian Mbappe starred once again as Paris Saint-Germain secured a vital 2-1 victory over Angers, even without Lionel Messi and Neymar.
Paris Saint-Germain left it late to secure a 2-1 win over Angers on Friday night. The victory helps them get back to winning ways after succumbing to a shock defeat in their last league game against Rennes.
It wasn’t the most clinical performance from the Ligue 1 giants, however, as they struggled to create too many chances in the absence of Neymar and Lionel Messi. They lacked the sheer dominance we can usually associate with La Parisien in such league fixtures. In fact, it was Angers who found the opening breakthrough capitalising on a counter-attack in the 36th minute to score the opener.
In the second half, PSG improved considerably. They were far more secure in possession whilst creating more chances in the final third. It was reflected in their dominance in possession, as Angers gradually struggled to make their presence felt. The hosts found their deserved equaliser in the 69th minute through a Danilo header.
However, PSG didn’t have much luck afterwards, as Angers went into defensive mode. Fortunately for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, though, a handball incident during the final few minutes of the game from Pierrick Capelle saw the referee hand PSG a late penalty, which Kylian Mbappe coolly converted, to secure all three points for his side.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the PSG players in their hard-fought victory over Angers this Friday.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 6.5/10
Gianluigi Donnarumma had to be alert as Angers caused a lot of problems on the counter, especially in the first half. He even did well to deny the opposition a couple of times but was ultimately beaten by Angelo Fulgini in the 37th minute.
Colin Dagba: 5/10
Colin Dagba completely lost sight of Fulgini for the Angers opener, which wasn’t a good look for the right-back. Starting ahead of Achraf Hakimi, the defender did not have a particularly great game against Angers, eventually getting subbed off during the final phase.
Angelo Fulgini gives Angers a 1-0 lead over PSG 👀
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) October 15, 2021
Thilo Kehrer: 6/10
Thilo Kehrer struggled in dealing with the threat of Mohamed Ali Cho, at times and was lucky to not concede another goal. Aside from his poor marking, though, the former Schalke prodigy did well to offer assurance in the build-up play and offer solidity in the second half.
Presnel Kimpembe: 7/10
Presnel Kimpembe was much secure and composed in the PSG defence. He barely put a foot wrong with his mark while showcasing immense aggression in duels. His authority and the ability to read the game was crucial for PSG to prevent the opposition from scoring another goal in this game.
Abdou Diallo: 5.5/10
Abdou Diallo was given the nod at left-back by Pochettino with midweek’s game in mind. Unfortunately, the former Borussia Dortmund defender lacked the solidity on the left flank, notably allowing Sofiane Boufal to attack on the counter and produce a brilliant ball for Fulgini for the Angers goal.
Ander Herrera: 7/10
Ander Herrera was a vital asset for PSG in the second line of press. His aggression, tenacity and willingness to win back possession for his side was crucial in helping PSG dominate the proceedings. The midfielder wasn’t much influential in the attacking side of things, but it was an impressive display nonetheless.
Danilo Pereira: 7/10
Danilo Pereira operated in the holding midfield role, screening the back-four. The Portuguese international did have a rocky start to the game but improved in the second half. He scored the all-important equaliser in the 69th minute whilst providing the defensive cover for the defence during the final phase of the game.
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— Ronard Addo (@ronard_addo) October 15, 2021
Marco Verratti: 6.5/10
Marco Verratti had a difficult start to the game as he lost possession cheaply multiple times, including the turnover that led to Angers’ opener. But the Italian responded strongly after the restart, producing a valiant effort in the second line of press while creating multiple opportunities using his long-range of passing.
Rafinha Alcantara: 6.5/10
Rafinha Alcantara had a mixed game against Angers. He offered energy and intent on the right hand side, even drifting into central areas of the pitch, at times. However, he was unable to offer that final end product with his forays into the box.
Mauro Icardi: 5/10
It was another disappointing attacking display from Mauro Icardi, who found it difficult to lead the line responsibly for PSG. The former Inter Milan forward was anonymous for a large part of the game and didn’t make most of the opportunities he received. He was also very lucky to get away with the late chance as his tame effort hit Capelle’s hand.
Kylian Mbappe: 8/10
Kylian Mbappe started the game slowly, often lacking composure with his attacking moves. But an improved second-half display saw him take on the Angers defence at will, as the Frenchman caused a menace with his speed, trickery and the ability to create chances. He most notably set up Danilo for the all-important.
Goal and assist for Mbappe to save PSG 😓 pic.twitter.com/Rg1Bhi7UUU
— Goal (@goal) October 15, 2021
Mbappe followed it up by capitalising on a through ball from Verratti. His run towards the byline and cross for Icardi led to the late penalty call from the ref. The forward made no mistake in converting the spot-kick either, securing all three points for his side.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6/10
Gini Wijnaldum was given the chance to prove himself as he came on around the hour mark. The Dutchman didn’t do much but his energy was useful as PSG dominated the game during the final half-hour.
Juan Bernat: 6.5/10
It was refreshing to see Juan Bernat making his return to the team after a long injury layoff. The former Bayern fullback offered good support going forward during the final phase of the game.
Achraf Hakimi: 6/10
Achraf Hakimi was brought in to offer more oomph going forward, as PSG pushed ahead for the winner.
Julian Draxler: 6/10
Julian Draxler replaced Herrera in the 72nd minute. The German, though, looked very anonymous for the most part.
Eric Ebimbe: N/A
A late replacement for Mbappe. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.