Kalimuendo helps Rennes stun PSG


Rennes had beaten PSG in three of the duo’s previous six league encounters, and the fact that Christophe Galtier was without a clutch of front-line centre-backs, including captain Marquinhos, and forced into a makeshift back three that featured left-back Juan Bernat on the right side of the trio made the Bretons’ arrival in the capital all the more worrying.


PSG could only hope Bruno Genesio’s men would be as wayward in their finishing as in the goalless draw with Auxerre last week and that the presence of Kim Kardashian in the Parc des Princes stands would inspire the hosts.


The visitors’ ambitions seemed to take a major blow when Adrien Truffert had to be replaced by Birger Meling just five minutes in, and when Kylian Mbappé had the ball in the net on 23 minutes, that appeared to be PSG en route to a win that would push their lead at the top of the table back into double digits.


But the offside flag ruled out Mbappé’s effort to keep Rennes afloat; Steve Mandanda — a former Marseille man — then won a one-on-one duel with his former France international teammate (26′) to preserve parity.


As so often, PSG’s opponents struggled to deal with Mbappé’s runs behind their backs, but Mandanda stood firm when his defenders didn’t: Lionel Messi’s through ball released Mbappé rushing towards goal, but his powerful shot was brilliantly stopped by Rennes’ veteran goalkeeper (37′).


With the hosts in control, Rennes had not even attempted a shot in over 20 minutes by that stage, but they did soon find a way to get a shot on target, one that found the net: Benjamin Bourigeaud teed up Toko Ekambi, who escaped the attentions of Danilo Pereira and fired past Gianluigi Donnarumma (45′).


Galtier took off the young Timothée Pembélé at half-time to replace him with the even younger Warren Zaïre Emery, but before the teenage midfielder could have an impact, another player who came through the PSG youth academy stole the show.



Kalimuendo made just five competitive appearances for PSG before completing a permanent move to Rennes last summer, and he struck his seventh league goal of the campaign as the visitors punished Marco Verratti’s meek surrender of possession in the middle of the pitch (48′).


Toko Ekambi nearly added a second, but after being set up by Desiré Doué, the Cameroon international watched his curling effort fly just wide of the far post (68′) before Donnarumma was forced into a smothering stop to deny Kalimuendo (69′) as Rennes — rather than sit on their lead — sought to extend it.


Djed Spence forced another stop (73′) from the Italy international, who had former back-up Keylor Navas watching from the stands, before Hamari Traoré, who scored the only goal in the pair’s first meeting this season, fired wide (79′) with Rennes more than comfortable en route to becoming the first team to beat PSG at home in 36 league games.


THE PLAYER: Steve Mandanda

Yes, the forward players got the goals to win the game, but the OM icon ensured they did not lose it, making some crucial and courageous stops with the score at 0-0.



PSG have failed to score just three times in Ligue 1 this season: the goalless draw at Reims and in both games –  both of which ended in defeat – against Rennes.

Elsewhere, Nice’s unbeaten run was stretched to 11 league games, but they recorded a fourth draw in their last five which dented their hopes of grabbing a European qualifying place. Bamo Meïte opened the scoring for Lorient at the Allianz Riviera (30′), but Gaëtan Laborde’s eighth league goal of the season earned Nice a point (77′). Elye Wahi struck twice for Montpellier as they made it a fifth win in six games unbeaten under Michel Der Zakarian at home to Clermont. Saïf-Eddine Khaoui had given the visitors, who had lost four of their previous six, the lead against the run of play (32′). But Wahi struck twice in the second half (61′, 72′) to become the second-youngest player — aged 20 years and 76 days — to reach 25 career Ligue 1 goals in the last 50 years after Mbappé.


Brest had a late Romain del Castillo penalty (74′) to thank for keeping them out of the bottom four for another week. Pierre Lees-Melou’s deflected shot had put Brest ahead at fellow strugglers Troyes, but Renaud Ripart (34′) and Rony Lopes (38′) both found the net to put the hosts within sight of only their second win in 13 league games under Patrick Kisnorbo. But Del Castillo’s spot-kick — his fourth successful penalty of the season — ensured Brest are a point clear of the drop zone.


Strasbourg find themselves three points ahead of the bottom four following a third win in their last eight league outings, beating Auxerre 2-0. Gerzino Nyamsi’s early goal set Frédéric Antonetti’s men on their way (5′) with Habib Diallo wrapping up the win late on (86′).


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