Sunday, February 25, 2024

Nantes 3-1 Paris Saint-Germain: Poor Parisians downed as Neymar misses from the spot

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 19 Feb 2022


Paris Saint-Germain fell to just their second defeat of the Ligue 1 season as Mauricio Pochettino’s side were beaten 3-1 by Nantes at Stade de la Beaujoire.

Goals from Randal Kolo Muani, Quentin Merlin and a Ludovic Blas penalty handed the home team an incredible 3-0 half-time lead, with goalkeeper Alban Lafont starring for the hosts.

Neymar pulled one back immediately after the restart before seeing a soft penalty effort saved on the hour and Nantes held on for the win, moving into fifth place in the French top-flight.

PSG remain well clear at the top of Ligue 1, but this was not how Pochettino will have envisaged following up their impressive 1-0 win against Real Madrid in the Champions League in midweek.

Nantes took a shock lead just three minutes into the game with Kolo Muani rounding off an efficient break by flicking home just seconds after Juan Bernat had forced a good save from Lafont.

The Nantes stopper made an excellent save from Lionel Messi moments later, before Merlin fired a stunning left-footed strike into the top corner from the edge of the area on 15 minutes, his first goal of the season.

Lafont denied Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Idrissa Gueye in an inspired performance, before Dennis Appiah had a red card correctly overturned after a VAR check. 

Another VAR intervention gave Nantes a penalty before half-time that Blas hammered home after Georginio Wijnaldum’s clumsy handball.

PSG came out for the second-half desperate to atone for their sorry performance in the first, and Neymar got one back with a neat turn and finish from Messi’s pass.

After Kolo Muani somehow missed with the goal gaping, Neymar went one better with a horrendous penalty, rolling the ball tamely at Lafont after Appiah tripped Mbappe.

There was still time for Mbappe to fire horribly over when clean through on goal, as PSG failed to recover from their woeful start to the contest.

What does it mean? PSG brought back to earth after Madrid magic

Mere days after PSG defeated Madrid in the Champions League, the capital club were given a harsh reality check by a thrilling Nantes side.

The hosts had lost 18 of their last 20 league meetings with PSG coming into this match, but produced a superb display to condemn the visitors to just a second defeat in their last 32 league outings.

Kolo Muani troubles Parisians again

Kolo Muani needed just a few minutes to score his ninth goal of the Ligue 1 season, more than any other Nantes player, also scoring the opening goal of a game for the third time this campaign.

Furthermore, the opening goal meant the 23-year-old had been involved in four consecutive goals for Nantes against PSG, with three goals and one assist, although Merlin’s stunning second quickly ended that sequence.

PSG’s nightmare start costs them dearly

Nantes’ incredible first-half display represented just the third time that PSG had conceded two or more goals before the 20-minute mark in Ligue 1 since their Qatar-led takeover in 2012.

It was also the first time that PSG had conceded three goals in a Ligue 1 game this season, and despite a better second-half display, Pochettino’s team were unable to recover from an awful start.

Key Opta facts

– Nantes have won two of their last three games against PSG in Ligue 1 (L1), as many as in the previous 26 (D3 L21).

– PSG have won only three of their last nine away games in Ligue 1 (D4 L2), after winning 11 of their previous 12 (D1).

– PSG finished a first half of a Ligue 1 game with a deficit of at least three goals for the first time since 29 August 2010 against Sochaux.

– Lionel Messi has delivered four assists in Ligue 1 in 2022, more than any other player in the top 5 European leagues this year.

– Three of the last four penalties saved in Ligue 1 have been kept out by Alban Lafont.

What’s next?

PSG will now have a full week to prepare for their clash with Saint-Etienne at the Parc des Princes, while Nantes travel to struggling Metz the following afternoon.


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