PSG visited Chateauroux on Friday, Jan. 6 for their Round of 64 matchup in the French Cup and sweated a late 1-3 victory away from home in which Paris Saint-Germain couldn't count on many (if any) of their top-tier players because of different reasons.
Here are the grades from our Parisian men after they defeated a minnow in the French Cup away from home without many familiar faces around and available on Friday, Jan. 6 while facing Chateauroux.
5 - Navas: First start (and game played) this season for the Costa Rica international who somehow still found a way to allow one goal against. Can't say he is the one to blame for that, but the goal was bagged no matter what. Probably the goalie staying in Paris for the remainder of the year with Sergio Rico on his way out of Paris and on to Milan.
5 - Mukiele: Had us hella scared with an apparent knee injury but he returned without much trouble and had another good game, as it's been the case for the last three weeks including the two mid-season friendlies.
4 - Marquinhos: If you're going to face a lesser opponent and a 34-year-old striker on top of that, you better have a nice game. That wasn't the case, as the opponent made it a 1-1 affair until nearly 80 minutes into the game and the latter scored the lone goal by the hosts, with Marquinhos in a position to do more. The struggles keep going.
Without none of Messi, Neymar, and Mbappe available it was Zaire-Emery carrying PSG
4 - Bitshiabu: Clearly affected by the goal conceded by PSG, Bitshiabu suffered throughout the game and never really found his place on the pitch. Good game against Strasbourg (playing makeshift left-back, though) but a couple of bad outings of late against Lens and last Friday cast some shadows above the titi's head.
(Sub) 5 - Sergio Ramos: Brought in for the last 30 minutes, his presence on the pitch raised the spirits of his teammates. Can't say his actual play was glorious, but his being out there on the pitch surely helped.
5 - Juan Bernat: Got into the scoreboard with a last-gasp goal in the 90+1. Not that it meant a thing, but helped him get the pass when it comes to our hard-to-earn grades. Pour one for Juan!
6 - Vitinha: The heir to Verratti's throne had a fantastic game and manned the defensive midfield with gusto. He was actively trying to move PSG forward with his passes, although he wasn't impeccable at it. He is still young and developing, so he gets a pass while we wait for further improvements.
7 - Zaire-Emery: Man of the Match easily and while becoming the youngest starter ever in the history of PSG. Can't ask for more (other, perhaps, than a goal scored) from the titi and the next face of PSG once Neymar gets sold and Messi retires. Sublime.
4 - Soler: Can't keep giving this man chances. Yes, he scored the game-deciding goal and that put him nearly at a pass, but he's just not really cutting it these days in Paris. The adaptation is taking much more than it should, considering he arrived as a more than established player coming from leading a first-division team in Valencia. What's next, Soler?
(Sub) NR - Housni: Barely played. Almost scored. Sheesh.
3 - Sarabia: This is starting to get a bit ridiculous, but you can always read blurbs about Soler thinking we're discussing Sarabia and also the other way around. Both are struggling mightily but more worryingly for Sabaria, he isn't even getting into the scoreboard. Worth dumping at this point, honestly.
6 - Gharbi: Enjoyed some fancy freedom and made the most of this game flashing some brilliant moments through the game. Still super young at 18 years old, he has all of his career ahead to evolve and fulfill the expectations.
(Sub) NR - Fabian Ruiz: Entered the pitch to play a defensive pivot role much more deeper down the field than Gharbi's position when he was out there. Nothing to report other than his assist to Bernat on the final goal.
5 - Ekitike: Took him 13 minutes to score (took him less than 10 last Sunday, remember) but disappeared after that again. If Mbappe wants to play on the left with a "pivot" up front, Ekitike's body might fool you into thinking he's the perfect man for it... but his talent surely won't.
(Sub) NR - Danilo: Barely made it to the pitch enjoying just a few seconds of play. Could have caught a cold!