Paris Saint-Germain were made to work to restore their five-point lead at the top of the table, as an adventurous Troyes side pushed them for much of the game – but, as is customary, the hosts’ star attacking trident made the difference in the second half.
The visitors would strike first with an emphatic volleyed finish from Mama Baldé, 26-year-old grabbing his sixth goal of the season. Every counter-attack looked a threat to the hosts, who were finding no way through a solid, five-man Troyes backline, until Carlos Soler latched onto a ball over the top from Neymar and rounded the goalkeeper for the equaliser.
Christophe Galtier’s men appeared to grow into the game as the half went on, with Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé coming close. They were stopped in their tracks right after the break, though, as Wilson Odobert caused havoc on the left-hand side again, this time finding Mama Baldé for the forward to turn in the box and rifle in his second. The reply was instant, though, as Lionel Messi levelled it up with a long-range strike just minutes later.
PSG then assumed control of the game from then on, with Messi again at the centre of the action as his threaded ball found Neymar on the right, and the Brazilian’s emphatic finish saw him notch his 10th goal of the season. A Kylian Mbappé penalty then doubled the lead and put the league leaders out of sight. The substitute Ante Palavera headed in a third for the visitors to set up a nervy finish, but
Paris Saint-Germain player ratings v Troyes
Gianluigi Donnarumma – 4
Nordi Mukiele – 6: Was up against a tough opponent in Wilson Odobert was left behind on more than one occasion, but also managed to hold his ground in many of the counter-attack situations PSG faced. Proves himself to be a more than serviceable back-up for Achraf Hakimi.
Sergio Ramos – 4
Presnel Kimpembe – 5
Juan Bernat – 5
Carlos Soler – 6
Marco Verratti – 6
Vitinha – 7
Lionel Messi – 8: Came the closest to giving PSG the lead at the end of the first half and pulled the strings in the second to secure a hard-fought three points – his long-range strike for the hosts’ second the pick of tonight’s seven goals.
Neymar – 8: Ten goals and eight assists now this season for the Brazilian, whose carefree yet applied attacking drive is what makes PSG a joy to watch going forward. An assist for Carlos Soler’s first-half strike before a goal of his own.
Kylian Mbappé – 5: A confidently dispatched penalty to seal the win goes some way to making up what was a largely wasteful performance from the Frenchman.
Troyes player ratings v PSG
Gauthier Gallon – 3
Thierno Baldé – 5
Jackson Porozo – 4
Erik Palmer-Brown – 4
Yoann Salmier – 5
Abdu Conté – 4
Rony Lopes – 6
Romingue Kouamé – 7
Xavier Chavalerin – 6
Wilson Odobert – 7: The 17-year-old caused constant trouble for Nordi Mukiele down the left-hand side, showing his former club that they may well have been better advised to hold on to him. Somewhat dropped away in the second half.
Mama Baldé – 7: Two goals to make it seven for the season for the forward, who was a constant nuisance for a shaky PSG defence. His second, a turn in the box in tight space before a rifled finish, had his team in the lead for a fleeting moment.
GFFN | Raphaël Jucobin