International Leagues

PSG lose horribly despite starting attacking trio of Messi, Mbappé and Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain fell to a disappointing first loss of the season at the hands of Rennes who beat the team 2-0 despite starting Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappé.  

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Paris Saint-Germain made a mess of themselves against Rennes by losing 2-0 and failing to register a shot on target despite an attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappé. Playing 90 minutes without a shot on target against such opposition and with a team like that should certainly question the credentials of the manager Mauricio Pochettino.

How did it happen in the match?

Mauricio Pochettino lined up his team in his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation with Angel Di Maria joining their attacking trio with Lionel Messi in the number 10 role and Kylian Mbappé up top. Very good a squad on paper but it will turn out to be a very spineless one that was easily overrun and exposed in midfield and defence by Rennes. The horrible performance was further worsened by the inability of the team to combine for a shot on target. Rennes goalkeeper had nothing to do. Rennes took the lead a few seconds into half time and added a second just at the beginning of the second half.

Kylian Mbappé thought he had pulled one back for the visitors but was overturned for offside. The scoreline would have been made more horrible after Rennes were awarded a spot kick but was overturned by VAR. PSG remain top of the league table with a six point lead over second placed Lens.

Will the attacking trio function at PSG?

The trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappé has so far not worked to the maximum at PSG. Their first start was the match against Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions which was hugely underwhelming from the three of them. Their next outing against Lyon was not all that impressive. They've only produced a good display, that was at least better than average against Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League. Today was another terrible performance where they have failed to produce a shot on target.

What does it mean for Mauricio Pochettino?

The former Paris Saint-Germain captain was hired by the club in January after the departure of the former manager Thomas Tuchel. For a squad of that value and calibre of talent, he has so far produced below par managerial skills at the Paris club. Though the club did not spend heavy, it recruited well on free transfers in the summer with the addition of Georginio Wijnaldum, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Lionel Messi all came in free and the £72m signing of Achraf Hakimi, Pochettino's output has been underwhelming as he has not found a way to utilise the talent at his disposal.

Elijah Odetokun

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