Paris Saint-Germain moved 16 points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table after Kylian Mbappe scored a stoppage-time winner at home to Rennes, sealing a 1-0 victory on Monday night.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men face Real Madrid in the Champions League next Tuesday, though will need to put in a better performance than they did here if they’re to beat Los Blancos.
Though PSG had the lion’s share of possession, the first half-chance went the way of Rennes when Benjamin Bourigeaud’s looping volley forced Keylor Navas into a scrambling save.
Baptiste Santamaria then saw his header from a corner sail just wide as the visitors continued to look threatening on the break, while Xavi Simons got on the end of a well-worked PSG move at the other end, but his close-range shot was blocked.
After a rather quiet first half, Kylian Mbappe sprung into life with a curling effort, but it went beyond Dogan Alemdar’s goal.
The French star then struck the Rennes post after winning the ball back in midfield, and Simons somehow couldn’t find the net with the rebound.
PSG were booed off at half-time with the scores level and did not look like threatening the Rennes goal immediately after the interval.
A pull-back from Achraf Hakimi was blasted way over by Mbappe on the hour mark before the 23-year-old blasted over from close range as PSG continued to slowly chip away at the visitors.
Mbappe finally had the ball in the net after meeting Lionel Messi’s through ball and rounding Alemdar, but the flag was raised and the goal was chalked off.
Rennes looked like they had done enough to earn a point, but deep into stoppage time, Messi picked out Mbappe and the Frenchman found the very corner of the net to seal another late win for PSG.
Keylor Navas started over Gianluigi Donnarumma / Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/GettyImages
Keylor Navas (GK) – 6/10 – Little to do but he dealt with what was thrown at him.
Achraf Hakimi (RB) – 5/10 – Nowhere near as menacing as he can be. At times it looked like Messi just flat out refused to pass to the Moroccan.
Marquinhos (CB) – 6/10 – His range of passing was useful while he wasn’t called into too much defensive action.
Presnel Kimpembe (CB) – 6/10 – No notable moments, which is an improvement based on other performances this season.
Juan Bernat (LB) – 6/10 – Provided a decent option on the overlap, though the dominating presence of Mbappe made it hard to stand out.
Marco Verratti (CM) – 5/10 – Got stuck in but couldn’t pick the Rennes lock.
Leandro Paredes (CM) – 5/10 – Ditto. Up for the fight but provided little else.
Julian Draxler (CM) – 2/10 – The only reason I noticed Draxler was on the pitch was because the BT Sport commentary team also seemed surprised to find that out someway into the second half.
Mbappe saved the day / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages
Xavi Simons (RW) – 3/10 – Well, he tried hard, but Simons does not look ready to be playing at this level, despite fan pressure on Pochettino to play him more.
Lionel Messi (CF) – 5/10 – Looked a shadow of his former self but still managed to create some decent half-chances – including the winner – by virtue of his obvious quality.
Kylian Mbappe (LW) – 8/10 – By far the busiest of PSG’s attackers and finally grabbed a deserved winner.
Angel Di Maria (LW, 66′ for Draxler) – 6/10 – Immediately brought some urgency to the game.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM, 66′ for Simons) – 4/10
Mauro Icardi (CF, 84′ for Paredes) – N/A – Booed on by PSG fans.
Thilo Kehrer (RB, 84′ for Hakimi) – N/A
Nuno Mendes (LB, 84′ for Bernat) – N/A
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