Kylian Mbappe and Marco Verratti impressed as Paris Saint-Germain emerged as 2-0 victors against Stade Brest on Saturday night.
Paris Saint-Germain returned to winning ways in Ligue 1 after a comfortable 2-0 victory over Stade Brest on Saturday. The three points help them maintain their healthy lead at the top of the standings and move one step closer towards securing the title well ahead of May.
It was not the best of starts to the game for Mauricio Pochettino’s side as they were ruffled by some exotic counter-pressing football from Brest. But their quality eventually shone through when Kylian Mbappe broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute with a precise effort that left Marco Bizot stranded in between the sticks.
PSG extended their lead in the 53rd minute when Thilo Kehrer capitalised on an excellent cross from Nuno Mendes to score in a second successive match. In response, Brest were able to craft a few goalscoring opportunities but were left undone by some shoddy finishing and an excellent performance from the returning Gianluigi Donnarumma.
PSG themselves should have further extended their tally, but they hit the post through Marco Verratti on one occasion while a sensational save and a goal-line clearance denied Marquinhos in the second half. Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the PSG players in their comfortable victory over Brest this weekend.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 8/10
Replacing Keylor Navas in goal, Gianluigi Donnarumma once again showed why he should be PSG’s number one, producing an excellent effort in between the sticks. His save to deny Irvin Cardona in the ninth minute was particularly eye-catching, and it was followed up with some equally impressive goalkeeping that should keep Navas on the bench for the coming matches.
Donnarumma bailing out the PSG defense for their mishap pic.twitter.com/avyUXz4k8e
— Eduardo Razo (@eddierazo_) January 15, 2022
Thilo Kehrer: 7/10
Thilo Kehrer was deservedly given the nod ahead of Colin Dagba at right-back. It was a move that paid off nicely for Mauricio Pochettino as the defender good support going forward, notably scoring the second goal for PSG. However, the former Schalke starlet did look clumsy at the start when dealing with the threat of Franck Honorat.
Marquinhos was a defensive leader for PSG, as always. He was faultless with his tackles, while the ability to read the game allowed him to intercept and neutralise multiple countering opportunities for Brest. More importantly, the Brazilian international was extremely useful in playing the ball out from the back, offering quality passes in between the lines.
Presnel Kimpembe: 6.5/10
Presnel Kimpembe was completely undone by a through ball that sent Cardona clean on goal. Fortunately for him, it was saved by Donnarumma. The defender did settle in after a rocky start, though, offering good defensive support to Marquinhos for the most part.
Nuno Mendes: 7.5/10
Nuno Mendes’s dribble and cross to set up Kehrer’s goal was the highlight of the game. But apart from his glorious assist, he made a solid impression with his constant attacking support. The youngster still has room for improvement on the defensive front but has the potential to become a first-team regular if he can keep up with his form and consistency in Ligue 1.
It was a pure solid goal 👏🔥❤️💙..Fantastic…and The assist was Incredible…We are really greatful to have such a young talented player like Nuno Mendes in our team 🔥🔴🔵#AllezParis #PSGSB29pic.twitter.com/crRdO2EKbC
— EhsaN (@EhsaN_PSG) January 16, 2022
Ander Herrera: 7/10
Ander Herrera offered a stable display in the middle of the park. His positioning was particularly crucial as he offered support for his midfield partners, often occupying and defending their areas when they moved forward. Herrera was subbed off late in the game in favour of Leandro Paredes.
Marco Verratti: 8.5/10
Marco Verratti was arguably the best performer of the game for PSG. He made quite the impression with his forays into the opposition box, making multiple opportunities with his silky footwork and eye-catching link-up play with teammates. He even hit the post in the second half and was unlucky not to score or assist in this win.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6.5/10
Georginio Wijnaldum looked like a useful attacking outlet for PSG in the first half. However, his night was cut short by a knock that forced him to come off at half-time. He was replaced by Danilo Pereira.
Angel Di Maria: 7/10
Returning to the side after a COVID-related absence, Angel Di Maria did well to offer creativity and skill in the final third for PSG. He was a constant threat for the Brest defence, keeping them occupied with his trickery out on the flanks. The Argentine, though, must improve his finishing to remain a regular starter in the team.
Mauro Icardi: 5/10
Mauro Icardi was simply not good enough on the night. He looked clueless when spearheading the PSG frontline, failing to identify any attacking sequence and was often caught dawdling inside the box. The former Inter Milan star certainly isn’t the man for PSG, and a move away from the French club might be the most logical option for the Argentine.
Kylian Mbappé makes it look easy 😎
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 15, 2022
Kylian Mbappe: 8.5/10
After failing to score against Lyon, Kylian Mbappe offered an improved display in the final third. His precise effort to beat Bizot was ingenious, to say the least. But apart from the goal, the Frenchman was a constant threat due to his ability to effortlessly drift past defenders and release teammates behind the opposition backline.
Danilo Pereira: 6.5/10
Danilo Pereira added more defensive stability after coming on for Wijnaldum at half-time. He did not do much to impact the game but was solid enough to keep things ticking in the middle of the park.
Sergio Ramos: 6/10
Sergio Ramos was introduced in the final phase of the game to add more stability to the PSG backline. He helped the team maintain their comfortable two-goal cushion.
Xavi Simons: N/A
A late replacement for Icardi. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Leandro Paredes: N/A
A late replacement for Herrera. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Edouard Michut: N/A
A late replacement for Verratti. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.