Rennes prove PSG Ekambi beaten at home
Stade Rennais shocked Ligue 1 league leaders Paris Saint-Germain with a 2-0 victory, inflicting Les Parisiens’ first home league loss since April 2021.
Facing the league leaders at the Parc des Princes is a difficult enough challenge, yet it was made even harder for Rennes when Adrien Truffert sustained a game-ending injury inside the opening minute. Nevertheless, Les Rouge et Noirs’ Karl Toko Ekambi asked the early questions, shooting wide after a sloppy pass from El Chadaille Bitshiabu, then seeing an effort blocked by the 17-year-old having turned Juan Bernat inside-out.
Kylian Mbappé soon came to the fore as PSG began to play balls in behind for their talisman, although he was caught offside when he hit the back of the net, dragged a strike wide and was halted by Steve Mandanda twice. There was no stopping Toko Ekambi when Benjamin Bourigeaud played the Cameroonian into a similar position moments before the break, as he got away from Bernat before firing an effort across Gianluigi Donnarumma for his first Ligue 1 goal since September and Rennes’ first in 295 minutes of football.
Things got worse for PSG and Bernat within three minutes of the restart, as the Spaniard’s sloppy pass was punished when Lesley Ugochukwu raced forward and put the chance on a plate for Arnaud Kalimuendo to score against his former club. Christophe Gaultier turned to Renato Sanches and Hugo Ekitiké in an effort to get back into the game, and the former came within inches of finding the latter with a fizzed cross into the box. While PSG went chasing a goal, Toko Ekambi offered yet another reminder of his own threat with a strike that curled agonisingly wide.
Mandanda made two more great saves to deny Messi and Marco Verratti, as Rennes completed their admirable defeat of the reigning champions to end a two-game winless run and reclaim fifth place in the Ligue 1 table. Meanwhile, PSG’s four-game winning streak in the league comes to an end, offering Olympique de Marseille the opportunity to reduce Les Parisiens’ lead at the summit to seven points.