Neymar Jr. scored and Gianluigi Donnarumma saved a penalty as Paris Saint-Germain beat Stade Brestois 29 1-0 on Saturday to go back to the top of the Ligue 1 Uber Eats table.
Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 Stade Brestois 29
PSG coach Christophe Galtier resisted any temptation to make major changes to his starting line-up, with this game at the Parc des Princes coming in between the 2-1 UEFA Champions League win over Juventus and a trip to Israel to play Maccabi Haifa on Wednesday. Only two changes were made to the team that began the match against Juve, with Juan Bernat and Danilo Pereira replacing Nuno Mendes and captain Marquinhos.
That meant that Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé all kept their places in attack, and the connection between the Brazilian and the Argentine gave the visitors the most serious problems in the first half. Indeed there was a lucky escape for Brest when Neymar was chopped down by Christophe Hérelle as he advanced towards the box after being sent clear by Messi. Hérelle was shown a red card, only for the foul to be annulled because VAR showed that Neymar had been just offside when the pass was played. Yet Messi and Neymar combined again for the goal on the half-hour mark, with the Brazilian controlling a pass over the top from the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner before sending a shot into the far corner.
Mbappé had the ball in the net just before half-time, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside, while the France star then set up Messi for a header against the post early in the second half. Yet this was a subdued performance from PSG, despite the introduction of Fabián Ruiz for his debut just after the hour mark.
Instead Brest might have snatched a point as they won a penalty midway through the second half when Noah Fadiga was brought down by Presnel Kimpembe in the area. However, Islam Slimani’s spot-kick was saved by Donnarumma, the Italian diving to his left to turn the ball behind and ensure that PSG would take all three points.
The result lifts the Parisians back to the top of the table above RC Lens, who had slept at the summit after beating ESTAC Troyes 1-0 on Friday.
THE PLAYER: Gianluigi Donnarumma
The penalty save was a big moment for Donnarumma, who had very little to do against the Brittany side but stepped up when it really mattered to confirm why coach Christophe Galtier has chosen him as first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Keylor Navas.
THE STAT: 25
PSG are unbeaten in 25 home Ligue 1 Uber Eats games, winning 21 and drawing four since a 1-0 defeat by LOSC Lille in April 2021.