Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi ran rings around the opposition defence as PSG secure a comfortable 3-1 victory over Saint-Etienne.
Paris Saint-Germain get back to winning ways after securing a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Saint-Etienne on Saturday. The positive result helps them extend their lead to 16 points at the top of the table, and it appears the French juggernaut are well and truly on their way to reclaiming their status as Ligue 1 champions.
The hosts didn’t have the best of starts to the game, though, with Danilo Pereira’s mistake being punished in the 16th minute by Denis Bouanga. In fact, Saint-Etienne looked quite dangerous on the counter and remained solid for the majority of the first half until an equaliser from Kylian Mbappe in the 42nd minute.
The late first-half goal proved to be a game-changer as it handed PSG the momentum to come roaring back after the restart. Sure enough, Les Parisiens looked extremely dominant after that period, with Mbappe doubling his tally in the 47th minute before setting Danilo to help PSG extend their lead.
Saint-Etienne, in response, weren’t potent enough going forward, ultimately leading to a rather comprehensive victory for PSG. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over Mauricio Pochettino’s men in their positive result against ASSE this weekend.
Gianluigi Donnarumma: 7/10
Gianluigi Donnarumma had to remain alert as Saint-Etienne looked dangerous going forward. He had a rather quiet second half but still did well to deny Ryad Boudebouz. His strong presence in goal was vital in preventing Saint-Etienne to find a way back into the game.
Thilo Kehrer: 4/10
Starting ahead of Achraf Hakimi, who was rested, Thilo Kehrer had a difficult start to the game as he struggled to keep up with Denis Bouanga. His disastrous came to an end at half-time, when he was replaced by Angel Di Maria.
I'm telling you
i cant be asked to watch Kehrer at RB man
if Ney wasn't playing
i wouldn't watch the game
— Thewidowmaker🐬🐬🐬 (@widowmakerPSG) February 26, 2022
Marquinhos was quite easily beaten by Bouanga during the first phase of the game. But the PSG captain improved significantly and played a vital role in the build-up play. He remains a key asset in the PSG defence, one the club would not like to lose any time soon.
Presnel Kimpembe: 6.5/10
Presnel Kimpembe also had a slow start to the game as both Bouanga and Boudebouz ran the defence ragged. The centre-back improved as the game progressed, offering decent defensive support to Marquinhos.
Nuno Mendes: 7/10
Nuno Mendes tried his best to offer the attacking impetus on the left flank. He made a host of marauding runs forward, aiding Neymar and establishing himself as a useful source of crosses. He looked decent defensively in dealing with the threat of Arnaud Nordin before being subbed off late in the game.
Danilo Pereira: 6/10
Danilo Pereira was solely culpable for conceding the opener from Bouanga. He dwelt in possession for far too long and conceded a turnover just outside the penalty area. He did make amends by latching on to Mbappe’s stunning cross in the second half, but it was still an underwhelming performance from the midfielder, one that might not be good enough against a team like Real Madrid.
Gueye – Danilo – Wijnaldum
We looking like a soon relegated PL side 💀
— Galu (@PSGalu) February 26, 2022
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
Wijnaldum was handed a start in the absence of Marco Verratti. Unfortunately, it was yet another ineffective display from the former Liverpool midfielder, who struggled to offer any sort of creativity in the middle of the park. He was involved in the build-up to an excellent chance for Neymar, but it was the only highlight from his underwhelming performance against Saint-Etienne.
Idrissa Gueye: 5/10
Idrissa Gueye did not quite excel either, as he offered nothing to the table other distribution of possession. He was quite passive with his passing and certainly needs to offer a bit more, especially against opponents that sit deep in their lines.
Lionel Messi: 8/10
Lionel Messi had one of his better nights in Ligue 1, producing a wonderful display of attacking flair and creativity in the final third. He looked like his usual self, dribbling past players at ease while creating numerous chances in the final third. He was unlucky not to score a goal, but he did provide a couple of assists, and his link-up play with Kylian Mbappe was almost faultless.
Messi casually dropping a 9.1 without any goals, creating 6 chances including 2 assists.
— K.Shah (@kshitijshah23) February 26, 2022
Kylian Mbappe: 9/10
Kylian Mbappe produced a terrific display in the final third, showcasing his pace, technical ability and goalscoring prowess. He made life miserable for the Saint-Etienne defence by making clever runs in and around the final third, while his seemingly telepathic link up with Messi kept the opposition guessing at all times. He was ruthless in front of goal as well, bagging a brace before producing an exquisite assist.
Watching players like Kylian Mbappé & Leo Messi in front of you is something else. Those assists were mesmerizing.
— 𝐀𝐅𝐂 𝐀𝐉𝐀𝐗 💎 (@TheEuropeanLad) February 26, 2022
Neymar had a slightly underwhelming game compared to his attacking teammates. He was not as involved as he would have hoped, and the Brazilian also had a couple of excellent goalscoring opportunities. Nevertheless, it was still a promising display from the attacker, who is coming on the back of another unfortunate spell on the sidelines.
Angel Di Maria: 6.5/10
Angel Di Maria added to PSG’s attacking arsenal when he replaced Kehrer at half-time. He was not able to make too much of a difference, but the Argentine was always willing to test the opposing goalkeeper.
Juan Bernat: N/A
A late replacement for Mendes. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Julian Draxler: N/A
A late replacement for Neymar. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.
Mauro Icardi: N/A
A late replacement for Mbappe. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.