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Match Reports

Mbappé wins it late for PSG

Publish on 15/10/2021 at 23:05 - L.DAVEY

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Kylian Mbappé held his nerve from the penalty spot three minutes from time, after PSG fought back from behind to beat Angers 2-1 at the Parc des Princes as Ligue 1 Uber Eats made its highly-anticipated return after the international break.

THE MATCH

Round 10 of Ligue 1 Uber Eats kicked off at the Parc des Princes with PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino fielding a much-changed outfit, due to the late return of the club’s South American stars from international duty. 

Angers coach Gérald Baticle described his side's trip to the capital as their own 'Champions League game' and if it was, then the men from the Loire Valley certainly did not look out of place in the early exchanges.


PSG showed their intent early on with Kylian Mbappé showing the Parc des Princes faithful that he was in the mood with an array of fancy-footwork, following his UEFA Nations League winning exploits with France last week.

Angers' objective to stay compact defensively whilst utilising the pace of their three-pronged attack consisting of  Angelo Fulgini, Sofiane Boufal and Mohamed-Ali Cho on the break, was clear from the outset as Baticle's side tried to avoid another capital punishment, after conceding 13 goals on their last three league visits to the Parc des Princes. 

PSG striker Mauro Icardi caused the first stir of the game when he appeared to be clipped in the penalty area but his protests were waved away by the referee (19').


Angers' quickly responded when Cho broke away down the right only to be thwarted by Presnel Kimpembe as he bore down on goal (21'). Then, Boufal reminded everybody of his talent, skipping past three PSG defenders with some dazzling footwork only to fire low and wide of Gianluigi Donnarumma's goal (26').

Colin Dagba then went close for PSG when his effort was parried away by Angers 'keeper Paul Bernadoni (32').

Shock lead 

Fulgini went close for Angers when his unmarked header narrowly missed the target as the visitors grew in belief. But Fulgini did not have to wait long to punish an out-of-sorts PSG back line when he opened the scoring, slotting in Boufal's pinpoint cross from close range (36').

The goal unsettled PSG, who once again showed their glaring defensive frailties under Pochettino and had no answer to Angers' well-drilled defensive unit at the other end of the pitch. Ander Herrera’s looping header was ruled out for offside (43') but in reality, PSG lacked any cutting-edge and Angers' deservedly went in a goal up at the break. 

PSG began the second half in more menacing fashion, keeping better possession of the ball and looking more likely to create clear-cut chances. Rafinha dragged his effort wide of the target (54') and Mbappé's free kick sailed over the bar (57') as Pochettino's side tried to find a way through a tough and dogged Angers rearguard.

The Argentine coach introduced Georginio Wijnaldum and the returning Juan Bernat after 13 months out with a knee injury, to add extra attacking options.

Mbappé went close again when his curling effort was pushed away by the relentless Bernadoni (67'), but shortly after, Mbappé finally found his creative spark, crossing for Danilo and the Portugal International headed home from close range to get PSG back on level terms (69').

With the introduction of Achraf Hakimi, PSG pushed forward with intent and Ander Herrera should have done better with his effort that flew wide of Bernadoni's post (72').

Penalty award

With time running out, Mbappé crossed for Icardi whose header was inadvertently blocked by the hand of Angers defender Pierrick Capelle. After a VAR review, the penalty was awarded for the hosts and Mbappé slotted home his first goal since early September (87').

Mbappé was at it again a minute later crossing for Wijnaldum but the Dutchman's close-range header was superbly saved by Bernadoni (89').

PSG held on to claim a hard-fought three points, moving a provisional nine points clear at the top of the table.

THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé

Kylian Mbappé once again proved that he is arguably PSG's most important player and it was his brilliance that pulled Pochettino's side out of a difficult situation. Mbappé was a constant threat with his pace in behind the Angers defence and his vision to pick out well-placed teammates. To top off a perfect evening, Mbappé was given a rapturous ovation from the Parc des Princes crowd when replaced in the final minute.

THE STAT: 10

Paris Saint-Germain's defensive issues show no sign of improvement and with ten goals conceded after ten games, Mauricio Pochettino has plenty of work to do to rectify his side's deficiencies. PSG have looked particularly vulnerable defending crosses and set-pieces so far this term and Angers took full advantage on Friday evening. PSG once again missed captain Marquinhos, whose calming presence has been indispensable for the capital club, with just four of the ten goals conceded coming when the Brazil International was on the pitch.

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