Ten-man PSG go down, Rennes pegged back
PSG fell to a 2-0 defeat - their first in 11 matches - away to Athletic Bilbao as Momo Sissoko saw red in his forst start for the club, while Rennes conceded at the death for a heartbreaking 1-1 draw against Atlético Madrid.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
UEFA Europa League, group stage
Athletic Bilbao 2 -0 Paris Saint-Germain
PSG slipped to third in Group F after they were outplayed by a combative Athletic Bilbao side for whom Igor Gabilondo (20') and Markel Susaeta (45'+1) did all the damage in the first half.
Featuring a re-worked line-up that included Nicolas Douchez in goal and paired Clément Chantôme and PSG debutant Momo Sissoko in midfield, PSG looked ill-at-ease form the off, struggling to deal with the Basque side's vigorous attacking game.
Gabilondo was the first to convert his side's dominance, spearing the ball home with a diving volley (20'), while Susaeta made sure his side went into the break 2-0 up with a deadly finish from Jon Aurtenetxe's powerful cross (45'+1).
Sissoko sees red
Although PSG captain Mathieu Bodmer scraped the outside of the post with a stinging shot (43'), the Frenchmen were unable to keep the pressure on Bilbao after Sissoko got his return to Ligue 1 off to a less than ideal start with a second yellow card for a tackle from behind (52').
After this point, Bilbao seemed content to exploit their numerical advantage with possession play, running the legs out of their visitors and holding out for the win that sent PSG into third place in Group F.
Rennes 1 - 1 Atlético Madrid
After losing 2-1 to Udinese in the dying minutes of their Matchday 1 clash, the last thing Rennes boss Frédéric Antonetti would have wanted to see was a late goal. But see it he did, Juanfran blasting his shot under Benoît Costil's crossbar and undoing the hard work that has been capped by Victor-Hugo Montaño's opener (56').
While the teams went into the break at 0-0, Rennes's dominant first-half performance had deserved better, Montaño (17', 40') and Jirès Kembo-Ekoko (28', 36') menacing the Spaniards' goal as the Brittany side kept their visitors pegged back.
Antonetti's men continued in the same vein in the second half, Stéphane Dalmat trying twice from distance (50', 53') before setting up Montaño, who unleashed a superb strike that left Thibaut Courtois no chance after taking a slight deflection off a defender (56').
Heartbreak for Rennes
The sides traded blows as time ran down on a thrilling half of attacking football, but it was Atlético that made it count as Juanfran took two bites to control Salvio's cross before hammering home to sneak a point and keep his side atop Group I.