Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Week 3 review: The Choupo show gets PSG back on track

Publish on 26/08/2019 at 13:00


Sub Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting helped PSG to get past injuries to Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé with a sensational brace in the 4-0 win over Toulouse while Rennes remain atop the table after victory over Strasbourg.

After falling to high-flying Rennes in Week 2, Paris Saint-Germain needed a quick pick-me-up - and they got it, despite encountering plenty of adversity at home to Toulouse on Sunday night. Injuries forced Abdou Diallo, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappé off in the course of play, but substitute Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting stepped up with a superb opener that even want-away superstar Neymar JR would have been proud of.

The Choupo Show

Angel Di Maria looked lively in midfield but received no reward for his efforts - even having a penalty saved by Baptiste Reynet - but he was instrumental in all their goals, notably providing the assist for Marquinhos to head home powerfully to wrap things up, but was also involved as Pablo Sarrabia forced an own-goal from youngster Mathieu Gonçalves and Choupo-Moting completed his brace with a crisp near-post finish.

"It was a deserved win. The right result after a good match. We attacked a lot and we attacked well. We also won a lot of ball in the opposition half. It was a good mix," said coach Thomas Tuchel, surprisingly upbeat after losing star forwards Mbappé and Cavani while Neymar Jr continues to pull for a move away from the club. "Choupo-Moting? It was good. He never lost confidence. Since the start of the season, he has given it everything. For an attacker, it's important to score goals. He deserves it."

Rennes stay on top

Meanwhile Rennes, the side who put PSG into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons last week powered on to take provisional top spot on the table with a 2-0 win away to Strasbourg - who have a crucial UEFA Europa League play-off return leg against Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday - in a clash between last season's domestic cup winners. 

Julien Stéphan's side had Clément Grenier to thank for the opener, with Strasbourg captain Jonas Martin missing from the spot before Senegal striker Mbaye Niang bagged his second of the season to make sure the Brittany club maintained its perfect start to the season.

"We were pragmatic, solid, efficient and a little lucky at times. All of these things combined to lift us to our third consecutive win," said Stéphan after his side slid into top spot, where they could be replaced by Lyon or Nice by the end of this staggered round of matches. "There's no such thing as perfection but we've had a very, very good start to the season. We're top, but that's anecdotal. We have momentum, let's keep it up."

Angers manage

Angers SCO, who were on the wrong end of Week 2's biggest scoreline - a 6-0 mauling at the hands of Sylvinho's Lyon - turned things around this week and took their turn dishing out a 3-0 hiding to promoted FC Metz.

"We did what Angers does," explained Angers boss Stéphane Moulin, for whom the newly signed Rachid Alioui score the third and final goal. "The idea was to bounce back and reaffirm our values and our strengths. The team and the squad as a whole stood up. You never know what is going to happen after a 6-0 defeat, but we did everything we needed to do to improve and get back to what we had been doing before. Credit to the players and to the staff for making such a performance possible."

Bordeaux fire, Monaco recruits weigh in

Paulo Sousa's Bordeaux claimed their first win of the season 2-0 in Dijon - who, after narrowly avoiding the drop last time around, sit at the bottom of the table once more - with South Korean superstar Ui-Jo Hwang bagging his first goal in France thanks to a razor-sharp finish from the edge of the area. Fellow recruit Loris Benito volleyed in the second to make it a vintage night for the south-western club.

Monaco managed to avoid making it three defeats from as many matches as they welcomed south-coast rivals Nîmes to the Stade Louis II. In fact they probably should have taken all three points given that new signings Islam Slimani and Wissam Ben Yedder both bagged their first goals for the club, but a 55th-minute red card for Brazilian stopper Jemerson (a third in three games for the principality club) allowed Les Crocos back into the match and it ended 2-2.

Charbonnier off the mark

New Nantes boss Christian Gourcuff tasted Canari-style victory for the first time as Moses Simon struck to make it 2-1 away to Amiens SC, while Gaëtan Charbonnier - Domino's Ligue 2 top scorer with 27 goals last term - hit his first Ligue 1 Conforama goal of the campaign, handing still undefeated Brest a 1-0 win over the rangy striker's former club, Reims.

Week 3's remaining matches will be played on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 August.

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