Lionel Messi Suffer 1st defeat as PSG player against Rennes
Lionel Messi faces his first loss as a Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) player, as the club’s unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 season came to an end with a 2-0 defeat against Rennes.
In the first half at Roazhon Park, the Argentina international hit the crossbar with a free-kick before Gaetan Laborde volleyed Rennes ahead with his league-leading sixth goal shortly before the break.
Flavien Tait doubled the advantage less than 20 seconds after halftime, and Kylian Mbappe’s goal was ruled out for offside as Rennes ended PSG’s eight-match winning streak in the league this season.
Rennes 2-0 PSG.
PSG didn't have a single shot on target.
Messi, Neymar and Mbappe all started. pic.twitter.com/QIWkVUa0nr
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) October 3, 2021
“We didn’t get off to a good start in the game, but then we put in our best 25-30 minutes of the season. It’s a pity we didn’t get a goal. We gave up two goals that were difficult to accept “Mauricio Pochettino, Mauricio Pochettino, Mauricio Pochettino, Mauricio Po
PSG had not lost in the league since April when they were downed 1-0 at home by eventual champions Lille last season.
“In general, I’m pleased; we produced numerous opportunities. Rennes scored first, and the goal had a significant emotional impact “Pochettino stated.
“I don’t want to lose, and I’m a little irritated when I do. To be behind 2-0 after a strong first quarter… We’re disappointed that we didn’t finish what we had. It leaves us bitter and dissatisfied.”
After missing the previous two Ligue 1 games due to a knee injury, Messi lined up with Neymar, Mbappe, and Angel Di Maria for only his second league start for PSG.
After keeping a clean sheet in PSG’s Champions League win over Manchester City in midweek, Gianluigi Donnarumma was given the nod ahead of Keylor Navas in goal once more.
PSG generated a series of chances midway through the first half, all of which were wasted, in an attempt to maintain up with the club that won its first 14 games under Thomas Tuchel in 2018.
After the ball broke nicely to Neymar inside the Rennes area, the Brazilian skied terribly, and Mbappe scooped over after slipping in behind the home defence.
Messi, who scored a magnificent debut goal for PSG against City on Tuesday, came close to scoring in Ligue 1 on the half-hour mark with a curling free-kick from 25 yards that clattered the bar.
As Di Maria squared across the six-yard box, Rennes goalkeeper Alfred Gomis made a key save to deny Neymar a tap-in, and PSG paid the price for their wasted chances on the stroke of halftime.
Laborde, a deadline-day signing from Montpellier, hammered a cross past Donnarumma after Kamaldeen Sulemana whipped in a cross from the left.
Rennes, who spent $92.6 million on new signings in the summer, more than everyone else in France except PSG, caught the visitors off guard to make it 2-0 early in the second half.
Laborde, who had been freed down the right flank, brought back for Tait to sweep in the first time, the goal upheld after a VAR check for offside and welcomed by a deafening shout from the almost 30,000-strong crowd.
PSG thought to have pulled one back as Mbappe sneaked past Gomis, only for the goal to be chalked out on review.
It could have been even worse for Pochettino’s side if a penalty awarded to Rennes in the closing minutes had not been overturned after replays exonerated Achraf Hakimi of a foul on Laborde.
Instead, PSG, who remain six points clear of second-placed Lens, must now regroup during the international break, during which Messi will travel to South America for a grueling series of three World Cup qualifiers.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side drew 2-0 against Lille just hours after former Marseille president Bernard Tapie died at the age of 78.
After the Stade Pierre-Mauroy paid respect to Tapie, the driving force behind Marseille’s win in the first Champions League in 1993, the Canadian moved level with Laborde at the top of the scoring charts.
In a 3-0 win over Bordeaux, Aurelien Tchouameni scored against his former club, while winless Saint-Etienne face bitter derby rivals Lyon later on Sunday.