Paris Saint Germain claimed the Trophee des Champions title as they edged past Rennes 2-1 in Shenzhen on Saturday afternoon.
Julien Stéphan’s men claimed an early shock lead as Adrien Hunou struck from close range. Rennes did well to keep their opponents at arm’s length throughout the game but Kylian Mbappe had his say as he tapped home shortly after the break. Angel Di Maria fired in a brilliant free-kick with just over a quarter of an hour left to edge PSG ahead and towards the title.
Rennes edge ahead early on
Thomas Tuchel’s men came close to opening the scoring within the opening minutes as Thilo Kehrer’s header from a free-kick hammered off of the crossbar.
Despite that opportunity and PSG’s domination throughout the opening stages, it was Rennes who stole an early march. Benjamin Bourigeaud’s wonderful cross picked out Hunou, with the forward diverting the ball into the far corner with an instinctive first-time finish.
As was the pattern throughout the opening period, the Ligue 1 champions dominated the majority of the ball but struggled to find any real end product. Edinson Cavani came the closest however with a poked effort from close range that dropped just wide of goal. Juan Bernat also had a powerful effort blocked away as he was teed up by Ander Herrera.
Mbappe finally has his say
Predictably, PSG continued their pursuit of an equaliser after the break and it came only ten minutes after the restart. Former Sevilla man Pablo Sarabia was released in behind and he crossed the ball in towards Mbappe. The Frenchman stayed cool to stroke the ball home into the unguarded net to haul his side level.
They should have edged ahead only a few minutes later as Bernat’s cross cannoned onto Sarabia but the Spaniard saw the ball deflect over the crossbar. Mbappe then had another go of his own as he charged into the Rennes defence, cut inside and tried to find the near post but did not quite get enough power on his effort.
The chances continued to come and substitute Angel Di Maria fired in a great effort from the edge of the area that had Rennes goalkeeper Tomáš Koubek stretching to keep it out.
Brilliance from Di Maria
The Argentine did eventually get on the scoresheet though and it was a stunning effort that this time Koubek could simply do nothing about. James Lea-Siliki gave away a silly free-kick on the edge of the penalty area, with Di Maria assuming responsibility. He then produced a frankly spectacular effort as the ball arrowed into the top corner to edge PSG on the way to their ninth Trophee des Champions crown.
Rennes did have a late chance to equalise as the ball fell to Eduardo Camavinga in the penalty area but the youngster could only blast his effort high and wide as the final whistle blew on a competitive affair in Shenzhen.
Rennes clearly had a game plan to frustrate their opponents throughout the match and it worked during the first-half in which PSG really were starved of any quality. However, Mbappe and Di Maria stepped up after the break and really were the stars as Tuchel’s troops claimed what in the end was a deserved victory.
Paris Saint Germain: Areola (6); Diallo (6), Marquinhos (7) (Paredes (N/A), 78′), Kehrer (7); Bernat (6), Verratti (7), Herrera (7) (Di Maria (7), 61′), Meunier (6) (Silva (N/A), 80′); Sarabia (7); Mbappe (8), Cavani (6).
Rennes: Koubek (7); Lea-Siliki (6) (Del-Castillo (N/A), 84′), Gelin (6), Da Silva (7), Morel (6); Camavinga (6), Grenier (6); Maouassa (6), Tait (6), Bourigeaud (7) (Gboho (6), 68′); Hunou (7) (Boey (6), 46′).
Goals: Hunou (13′), Mbappe (57′), Di Maria (73′)
Referee: Benoit Bastien
Yellow Cards: Meunier (7′), Bernat (23′), Bourigeaud (45′), Lea-Siliki (72′), Di Maria (74′), Sarabia (90′), Mbappe (90+4′)
Red Cards: N/A
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