PLAYER RATINGS | Nantes 0 – 2 PSG: Kylian Mbappé scores from the bench to put Les Parisiens 14 points clear at the top

Ligue 1 leaders PSG played Nantes at La Beaujoire for the first game since news broke worldwide that Kylian Mbappé would be leaving Les Parisiens at the end of the season. PSG head coach Luis Enrique opted against starting the France captain with former Nantes centre-forward Randal Kolo Muani leading the line. Opposite the Spaniard, Jocelyn Gourvennec played it safe with a back five, inviting pressure from the visitors.

Even without Mbappé on the pitch, PSG had enough firepower to intimidate the hosts. Back-up Nantes goalie Rémy Descamps parried an inswinging goalwards cross from Bradley Barcola. Nantes replied with an overhit half-volley from Pedro Chirivella. Nantes’ plan to overcrowd their own half of the pitch was working somewhat, PSG struggled to create more than passing sequences around the box whilst the hosts started to make their presence felt.

Luis Enrique’s turnover did not pay dividends with Kang-in Lee and Kolo Muani failing to impress with Ousmane Dembélé and Mbappé watching from the bench. Les Canaris even twice went very close to opening the score after Lucas Hernandez and then Marquinhos put their body on the line to save Gianluigi Donnarumma’s blushes. Nicolas Pallois then put the ball in the net but Pedro Chirivella was rightly flagged for a tight offside.

Luis Enrique shuffled his deck with Bradley Barcola making way for Gonçalo Ramos and Randal Kolo Muani now playing on the right. Les Canaris were gaining in confidence. Donnarumma remained focused to thwart a long-range effort from Pallois and then raced off his line before Kadewere had a sniff at goal. With Achraf Hakimi, Ousmane Dembélé and Kylian Mbappé ready to come on at the hour mark, PSG went 1-0 up out of nothing. Hernandez tried his luck from afar and his powerful effort was heavily deflected in by Moussa Sissoko.

Nantes’ resolve did not look broken at first. But PSG was far more livelier with Dembélé and Mbappé on the pitch. The latter was brought down in the box by Douglas Augusto and Ligue 1’s most high-profile departing player made no mistake from the spot. Donnarumma came up big again to deflect Chirivella’s effort on his left post. Nantes’ chances had passed, despite an overall spirited performance against the league leaders. Tougher tests await for PSG with Rennes and Monaco coming their way.

Nantes players ratings

Rémy Descamps, 5

Marcus Coco, 5

Jean-Charles Castelletto, 6

Nicolas Pallois, 6

Nathan Zézé, 6

Nicolas Cozza, 5

Douglas Augusto, 5

Moussa Sissoko, 5

Pedro Chirivella, 6

Tino Kadewere, 4

Mostafa Mohamed, 6 – The Egyptian put in a tireless shift at the front of Nantes’ attack, making full use of his physicality to bring all kinds of trouble to Marquinhos and Danilo Pereira.

PSG players ratings

Gianluigi Donnarumma, 6

Warren Zaïre-Emery, 5

Marquinhos, 6

Danilo Pereira, 5

Lucas Hernandez, 7 – The former Bayern Munich left-back may have taken umbrage of Luis Enrique’s decision to field Lucas Beraldo for Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Real Sociedad. The France international put in a mighty performance at both ends of the pitch, first with a last-ditch block in front of Douglas Augusto and then by

 Manuel Ugarte, 6

Vitinha, 6

Marco Asensio, 4

Kang-in Lee, 4 – Coming back from the Asian Cup, he made little to no difference in a right-sided winger role that clearly does not suit his qualities. Replaced by the more senior Dembélé.

Randal Kolo Muani, 3 – The France international striker looked the shadow of his former self who used to score for fun at La Beaujoire. The strengthened Nantes backline did not help him, but more is expected from a striker PSG paid the big bucks for. Replaced at the hour mark by Hakimi.

Bradley Barcola, 6 – The former Lyon youth product was the most involved and incisive attacking PSG player in the first half, which makes his half-time replacement by Gonçalo Ramos all the more surprising. The Portuguese did not provide much more.

GFFN | Bastien Cheval

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