Edinson Cavani 8/10, Angel Di Maria 7/10 as PSG thrash Rennes in Paris
Paris Saint-Germain moved a provisional 13 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table with a 4-1 thrashing of Rennes at Parc des Princes on Sunday. Edinson Cavani helped himself to two goals, while Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe finished with one apiece as Thomas Tuchel's men overcame the first-half scare caused by Mbaye Niang's brief equaliser.
First and foremost, the result: Another win keeps PSG comfortably in front of the chasing pack with games in hand. Secondly, the style, particularly in the second half, was very impressive, and they continue to score goals at a record pace in Le Championnat. Finally, Thilo Kehrer was thankfully unharmed after a dreadful Niang challenge that somehow survived video assisted refereeing (VAR) without being upgraded to a deserved red.
Aside from the supporters' prolonged wait to see if Leandro Paredes' signature will be confirmed by PSG, the biggest negative was the nature of Rennes' equaliser. It was sloppy from Les Parisiens and very avoidable, even if it was the first Ligue 1 goal from open play scored against them since September.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Tuchel sent out his starting XI with a makeshift midfield, and it held firm as reinforcements are sought before the end of the transfer window.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Gianluigi Buffon, 5 -- Not helped by his defence on Niang's goal, he otherwise had little to do over the 90 minutes.
DF Thilo Kehrer, 4 -- Could have been badly injured by Niang's rash challenge, and he was perhaps a little shaken after that. Whatever the case, it was not his most confident performance in an unfamiliar right-back role.
DF Thiago Silva (c), 6 -- An assist, a booking and a role in Rennes' equaliser too made for a mixed outing but still a fairly assured one.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 6 -- Considering that this was his first appearance of 2019, it was very solid, and he did not look too rusty -- particularly when he played his brilliant pass from the back in the build-up to the opening goal.
DF Juan Bernat, 5 -- Played a part in Rennes' equaliser and was not as much of a presence as he has been in most games the past few months.
MF Angel Di Maria, 7 -- With a goal and an assist, it was a good return from the man who often comes up big when PSG most need it. This time, he executed a delightful chip to put the hosts 2-1 up.
MF Marquinhos, 6 -- Continues to be solid and reliable as a makeshift defensive midfielder, but it remains to be seen if that will carry over to the Manchester United Champions League clash.
MF Dani Alves, 4 -- Not his best effort in central midfield, but he will not need to fill in there too much longer if everything goes as planned before the end of this transfer window.
MF Julian Draxler, 7 -- Another well-rounded, creative performance that was capped with an assist for Mbappe's goal to make it 3-1.
FW Kylian Mbappe, 7 -- Notched himself PSG's third of the encounter, and though he was quieter than usual, he made a key contribution and threatened Rennes at various moments.
FW Edinson Cavani, 8 -- His upturn in form ahead of the resumption of Champions League action continued with a strike in either half. His opener was typically predatory.
DF Layvin Kurzawa, NR -- Given 15 minutes at the end in place of Bernat, he was not exactly an upgrade, but it should be remembered that he is still working his way back to full fitness.
MF Thomas Meunier, NR -- Got 10 minutes in at the end as a replacement for Alves.
FW Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, NR -- Took over from Cavani as the physical element of the attack for the final 10 minutes.