PSG 1-1 Reims: Individual grades of the Paris Saint-Germain players
PSG hosted Reims at the Parc des Princes and allowed the visitors to earn one point after drawing 1-1 against the 12th-place Ligue 1 side. Paris Saint-Germain led the game up to the 95th minute and already into added time, only for Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun to snatch a misplaced pass and score the game-tying goal in the last seconds of injury time.
The players from PSG never found a way to crack Reims' defensive structure through the first half, although it is not that they actively tried anything, either, in a rather uninspiring effort. Reims merited scoring one goal all night long, and the visitors finally found it in the dying minutes of the match.
Here are the grades from our Parisian men after they dropped Ligue 1 points one more time, not taking advantage of all three of their closest chasers also losing points this weekend.
6 - Donnarumma: Fantastic shot-stopping performance with glaring ball-playing flaws (I mean, he nearly allowed a freaking goal 30 seconds into the game because of a stupid pass...) that drop his grade a bit. Probably the second-best player on Sunday...
4 - Ramos: Good double-chance late in the game... followed by an absolute defensive switch-off on the goal-against play. Lacks speed, lacks pace, lacks acceleration, lacks reaction... The only thing he is still in possession of that can help a top-tier football team is his winning mentality and his reading of the game. Outside of that, though, his brain works faster than his legs these days.
4 - Marquinhos: You can really get an idea of Marquinhos' game by reading Sergio Ramos' blurb ahead, only Marquinhos earns the positive of being still relatively young and active on the pitch... with the negative of his steady underperforming not making much sense considering his still-viable physical prowess.
4 - Bernat: Lost on the pitch. We're reaching a point with Bernat where it's either a gaudy showcase or a putrid, no-show type of game. He was involved in the goal but not even in a hockey-assist type of way as the play featured too many scrambles and ricochets and lucky bounces for him to be considered key in the effort.
5 - Hakimi: Scored a goal then ruled off already knowing it'd been a very illegal move. Gotta appreciate the hustle. Now, seriously, he was perhaps the only salvageable thing on the defensive line but that was mostly due to his offensive traits than his defensive actions. Active going forward, but not the greatest at preventing danger from arriving at the Parisian confines from his flank, though.
Neymar scored on a lucky play... but nobody else wanted to help him nor PSG win the game
3 - Fabian Ruiz: Not going to waste more ink on him, even if it's just a bunch of digital letters typed on a keyboard. Seriously, it has to stop. Send Ruiz back to Italy and bring Paredes back from Turin re-calling him from his loan at Juventus. Everybody wins. Ugh.
(Sub) 2 - Renato Sanches: Believe it or not, he played even worse than Ruiz on Sunday against Reims. No, seriously, go check the tape if you don't believe it! I will be the last man standing (and probably dying, at this rate) on Sanches' hill, but things aren't getting any better and it's been more than half a season with him in tow and learning the system (whatever that is...) already.
5 - Vitinha: Subbed off in exchange for Marco Verratti, which was 1) not really because of anything he had done to merit the sub and 2) bad looking for him because Verratti (before getting sent off) flipped the game script entirely with a brief-but-sublime performance. He keeps performing at great levels and making us forget he's only 22 years old.
(Sub) 4 - Verratti: As great as he looked in the short 15 minutes he got, Verratti's tackle on the Reims midfielder could have sent the poor man home for the remainder of the season if not more. Dodged a bullet getting only a 2-match ban instead of three, but you can't aim at an ankle like he did and he knew it from the second he made that awful tackle. Great at moving the ball as the deeper-sitting midfielder, where he always excels. Back to the shelves for two games. The little man just can't help himself (nor PSG).
3 - Soler: Lost on the right wing to start the game, even more compared to what his fellow (left-)wing Neymar was doing on the other side of the pitch. Slowly entered the game and combined with other players here and there, but once more got lost to close the matchup before getting subbed off the pitch. Starting to approach the dangerously perilous and precarious Ruiz-level territory.
(Sub) 4 - Danilo: Almost gets an NR but he was on the pitch for long enough. Pivot role protecting a 10-man squad that ended up needing 11 men on the pitch given Florian Balogun's last-gasp score even with the trio of Marquinhos, Ramos, and Danilo sitting deep and (we thought) aware and alert of what could be coming. Didn't happen. Sucky, sucky. Must replace Ramos in the back line unless Skriniar arrives before Wednesday, though.
6 - Neymar: Could have gotten a slightly better grade if he hadn't committed some of the mistakes he made while in possession of the ball. Other than that, he was Gucci. Effort on defense and pressing (which didn't work on many occasions, though), trying to find teammates and actually connecting with them, and being active on all parts of the pitch, up and down it. Good to see him finally having a nice all-around performance, though he is still levels away from the peak we all know he can play at.
(Sub) NR - Zaire-Emery: The brief cameo doesn't allow me to grade him, because it'd be unfair. That said, he headed the ball back in a rather dangerous way... and you know what happened next.
5 - Messi: The embodiment of PSG as a whole on Sunday. He walked and roamed the pitch without any idea of what to do to help his team score a goal, just waiting for that bright spark to get fired up. Cue the goal, in which a lucky bounce ended up in Neymar's boot and finally kissing the net. A disappointing game coming back from a long period of rest, only saved by the passes (laterals, though...) he completed and for keeping the ball somehow moving across the pitch with not many more of the midfield properly operating.
4 - Mbappe: He made some sprints, completed some runs, and showed effort, but was ultimately lacking the impact you expect from him in a game. Perhaps the five goals against Pays de Cassel were... well, five goals against Pays de Cassel, if you know what I'm saying. The Reims goalie did his fair part to stop Mbappe on his tracks, but that's not a quite great excuse for his lack of firepower.