PLAYER RATINGS | Nice 0-2 PSG: Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos goals ensure a winning return for Christophe Galtier

Ligue 1, Round 30, 08/04/23

Paris Saint-Germain bounced back from consecutive Ligue 1 defeats to beat OGC Nice (0-2) to ensure a winning return to the Allianz Riviera for former Aiglons manager Christophe Galtier. 

Neither side managed to take control of the game in the opening stages and carve out opportunities. Les Parisiens were disrupted by Renatos Sanches early exit, the Portuguese international’s body once again failing him. 

PSG exploited Nicolas Pépé’s lack of defensive diligence with the marauding Nuno Medes having swathes of space and a lot of joy down the left. Their first chance of the game from a cross from that zone, which was met by Danilo, but his header was directed onto the post, with the grateful Kasper Schmeichel collecting the rebound. 

Nice didn’t heed their warning. Once again it was Mendes down the left, with Pépé nowhere to be seen. His initial cross was deflected back in direction, and his second ball was met by an unmarked Lionel Messi, who netted with a deft clipped finish. 

But thereafter, PSG saw their chances limited, and Nice should have gone into half time level. Pépé latched onto a cross at the back post, but his close range finish was saved by the flying Gianluigi Donnarumma. Terem Moffi then went close with a header just before the break. 

Only millimetres denied Nice at the start of the second-half. Dante’s shot hit the bar, then the post, but bounced clear. Youssouf Ndayishimiye then forced Donnarumma into another save. Nice were knocking on the door, but they struggled to break it down, and they were punished. 

Sergio Ramos, who had looked defensively unceratina at times, rose highest from a corner to give PSG a two-goal advantage. Nice continued to push, but were limited to shots from range as they slipped to their first defeat under Didier Digard. PSG’s six-point advantage at the top of Ligue 1 is restored. 

Nice player ratings

Kasper Schmeichel – 5

Youssouf Ndayishimiye – 4 

Dante – 4

Jean-Clair Todibo – 5

Melvin Bard – 4

Aaron Ramsey – 5

Hicham Boudaoui – 4

Khéphren Thuram – 6

Antoine Mendy – 4

Nicolas Pépé – 2 – The Arsenal loanee’s impact in the defensive phases was at best negligible. He was a bystander time and time again as Mendes had free reign down Nice’s right. His poor positioning meant that Nice’s first-line was consistently bypassed. Whilst Donnarumma’s save was spectacular, Pépé should have done better and drawn his side level. 

Terem Moffi – 5

PSG player ratings

Gianluigi Donnarumma – 8 – This victory is largely thanks to the Italian goalkeeper, who made crucial interventions either side of the break. Saves from Pépé and Jean-Clair Todbio kept PSG. Donnarumma really helped Les Parisiens weather the storm. 

Danilo – 7

Marquinhos – 6

Sergio Ramos – 5

Nuno Mendes – 8 – A constant thorn in Nice’s side. He ran Mendy ragged, and had the better of Pépé as well, who in fairness, made little attempt to contain him. His perseverance and proactiveness in the attacking phases was rewarded with an assist in the first-half. 

Carlos Soler – 6

Vitinha – 6

Renato Sanches – N/A – The Portuguese midfielder was forced off before the tenth minute with what looked like a muscular injury. Replaced by Fabian Ruix (6)

Achraf Hakimi – 4 

Lionel Messi – 7 – The Argentinian was afforded far too much space throughout, but he utlised the ball well. He dropped deep to create for others, whilst also showing a knack of turning up in the right place, as he did for PSG’s opener. 

Kylian Mbappé – 3 – The Frenchman was the centre of attention in midweek, forcing the club to temporarily take down a advertisement campaign video, but he wasn’t at the core of the action once again. As he was against Rennes and Lyon, Mbappé was largely anonymous, and when he was played through, he lacked his ruthless efficiency. His open net miss at the death, although offside, is symptomatic of a player out of form. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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