Will the real Neymar emerge? PSG star falls flat, Rennes blow Ligue 1 title race wide open with win | Goal.com America

Paris Saint-Germain suffered a second straight away defeat in Ligue 1 on Sunday as Hamari Traore’s goal proved to be the difference for Rennes.

  • Traore scored back
  • Neymar has been absent for a long time
  • Ligue 1 lead reduced to three points

Tell me more: Rennes played with confidence from the first minute, needing Gianluigi Donnarumma twice to deny Arnaud Kalimuendo and Amine Gouiri in quick succession. A pair of Lionel Messi tries summed up PSG’s stale attacking display, setting the stage for the introduction of Kylian Mbappe, who was forced off. Look from the side For the first 55 minutes. The Frenchman, who was returning after an extended holiday following the World Cup, was applauded by both sets of fans on his introduction, but was powerless to prevent the hosts from going ahead after 10 minutes. Achraf Hakimi, brought on alongside Mbappe, offered very little resistance to Rennes winger Adrien Truffaut, giving him time to pick out Rennes captain Traore, who rifled home from close range. Mbappe then ignited in a one-on-one moments later, before PSG finally suffered back-to-back away defeats for the first time since March 2022.

MVP: While Traore will receive all the praise for his decisive goal, the work from Adrien Truffert Can’t be underestimated. Yes, his effort was made noticeably easier by some non-existent defending from Hakimi inside the box, but the Rennes winger showed the same commitment and resilience he has offered all game. Truffaut’s movement was quick and his passing incisive, Nordy was injured on 55 minutes after Mukile failed to deal with him before giving Hakimi an even harder time. Raines’ threats were neutralized when Truffert was brought out for burger mailing At 76 minutesBut by then the damage was done.

The Big Loser: Brazil’s early exit from the World Cup seems to have had a negative impact Neymar’s Recent fortunes. The 30-year-old scored against Angers and was sent off for diving in PSG’s Ligue 1 return against Strasbourg, and the Brazilian was non-existent against Rennes. Neymar struggled to connect with an unfamiliar frontline and conceded the ball on several occasions, which could have made PSG’s downfall more direct had it not been for Donnarumma’s heroics. Instead, his poor attacking motivation epitomized a PSG attack that will have to change – and fast – if Christophe Gaultier’s side are not to erode their league advantage. The reigning Ligue 1 champions are now three points ahead of second-placed Lens, who closed the gap with a win over Auxerre on Saturday.

Play in three pictures:

GettyRennes 2022-23Getty ImagesKylian Mbappe PSG 2022-23Getty Images

What next for PSG? Gaultier’s side travel to Saudi Arabia to face Ronaldo and Co. in a mid-season friendly on Thursday, before returning to competitive action against US Pays de Cassel in the Coupe de France on January 23.

Match Rating (out of five):

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