PSG 2-1 Toulouse: Individual grades of the Paris Saint-Germain players
PSG hosted Toulouse on Saturday and went on to earn three more Ligue 1 points after an initial scare that saw Paris Saint-Germain go down early on the scoreboard and forced them to come from behind to get the 2-1 victory.
It was an overall letdown considering the game was decided by a couple of magic moments from both Messi and Hakimi. Other than those two brief deciding strikes, though, PSG suffered in collective play facing Toulouse's low-block approach and never truly broke down the defensive organization of the visitors. Galtier, though, still thinks his team did more than enough to "deserve the victory" at the Parc.
Here are the grades from our Parisian men after they barely won another Ligue 1 game coming from behind against Toulouse at the Parc des Princes.
5 - Donnarumma: The goalie benefited from not having to play with his feet against a rather defending team in Toulouse. He faced five shots on target and let in the easiest one after a questionable action following the goalscoring free-kick to his post. A miraculous last-second save earns him the pass after that glaring mistake to sink PSG down in the scoreboard.
6 - Danilo: Only played around 10 minutes in the center of the defensive line, then moved to the DM role with Renato Sanches out injured. Solid, unflashy performance by the Portugal international who keeps racking up minutes and proving he's a must-play man on a weekly basis, no matter who else is available for Galtier to use.
5 - Marquinhos: Very default grade here because we barely got to watch him in actual action. Hit the post off an offensive corner in another clear sign that PSG operate more in flashes than steady domination of the opposition.
4 - Nuno Mendes: Got a bit heated in the first half on defense and that earned him a yellow card. More active than good, but he was still better than last Wednesday when he was pretty much invisible. Time to turn that activity into productivity.
(Sub) NR - Bernat: Gets the benefit of barely playing because if not he'd have either gotten a default or a poor grade for a no-show type of performance.
8 - Hakimi: Extraordinary performance all across the pitch, up and down, left and right. Scored the opener for PSG with a massive strike from just outside the box and "assisted" Messi for the game-winning goal. Keeps growing and improving his game weekly. Remember when we were pretty much calling him out and trying to get him off the lineup entirely at the start of the season? Good old times, folks...
Hakimi brought the stick and Messi sprinkled the magic dust over it. That's all for PSG
NR - Renato Sanches: Doesn't get rated from his brief cameo at the start of the game before leaving injured by the 10th minute. Sucks for the young man who will be out of the pitch for multiple weeks in what is now looking like a lost season for him. Ugh.
(Sub) 4 - Bitshiabu: Not a bad outing overall barring the avoidable foul in the vicinity of the PSG box leading up to Toulouse's free-kick goal to open the score. Other than that, he regathered himself and completed a good, non-taxing game in which the opposition never really demanded anything remarkable from him on defense.
5 - Fabian Ruiz: Not bad, but definitely not as great as against Montpellier midweek. There are glimpses of a good-if-not-bright future for him in Paris as he is versatile and can occupy a vast patch of the field in between both areas.
2 - Soler: Another lost chance, although Galtier seems enticed to keep playing him as a starter no matter what happens on the pitch or/and around the squad. Soler was much better at Valencia as the leading man on the Spanish side but the move up north has not suited him at all. Not many options on the bench of PSG to replace him, though, so we'll have to keep enduring watching him do cardio.
(Sub) NR - Zaire-Emery: Tiny cameo in relief of Soler but you can almost say he did much more than the Spaniard. Seriously.
5 - Vitinha: It is starting to get tough to watch this man playing football when Marco Verratti is not deployed next to or behind him on the pitch. The youth and inexperience must have something to do with it, obviously, but there is no reason he should still fear attempting more stuff than what he tries to do when he plays. He needs to get riskier to unlock his next level. Get rich or die trying, if you know what I'm saying.
7 - Messi: Great game once more on a lone-wolf role with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe out. Galtier admitted to having built the gameday squad and indicated his players to make the extra effort so Messi didn't have to defend at all, and that's pretty much what they need--or, perhaps better said, that's what Messi did no matter what the rest of the PSG players did. At the end of the day, a masterstroke from outside the area in a very petty way put PSG ahead and won them the game. The Olympic goal from that left-side corner kick would have been glorious, but Toulouse's keeper had to ruin it. Can't have it all.
4 - Ekitike: Strugged once more, although I'm starting to think that more than a lack of actual talent what is happening with the young forward is that Galtier is driving him crazy. One day he's tasked with playing a static target-man role. The next one he has to drop and connect with passes in deeper areas. The following one he's back leading the forward line as a poacher and wide striker. It must be too tiring for his brain to take on such different sets of instructions on a weekly basis.
(Sub) NR - Gharbi: Graced the grass for a minute or two. How cool.