PSG visited Rennes and lost (1-0) their second game on the road this year at Roazhon Park on Sunday, Jan. 15, as part of match day 19 of the Ligue 1 season. Paris Saint-Germain put on a very mediocre performance that not even the MNM of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe could fix through the 90 minutes of play.
Here are the grades from our Parisian men after they lost to a top-5 Ligue 1 team away from the Parc for the second time in the 2023 calendar year. Coach Galtier decided to keep his five-man defensive line in place, dropped another game, and is starting to run out of time to fix PSG with Bayern Munich waiting and less than a month away from facing Paris Saint-Germain.
6 - Donnarumma: Perhaps the best player on PSG's side on Sunday. Got scored on, sure, but he saved Paris Saint-Germain from getting mauled and returning to the capital with two or three goals in the bag instead of just one. Can't blame him, on par with his fellow goalie and uber-veteran Steve Mandanda.
4 - Danilo: Not bad, not good either. Danilo did what he can as part of a three-man center-back line and on the left side of it, later moving onto a defensive midfielder position where he knows how to play as it's his natural role and position on the pitch. Didn't excel at all even after moving up the pitch, though, so we can pass him.
(Sub) NR - Renato Sanches: Realized he had entered the pitch just because the cameras focused on him at some point for a second. That's all we watched and heard from him.
3 - Ramos: Super close to committing a massive error leading to another goal against. The error was still there even if the play didn't end in a score, so he gets the bump. The age shows weekly.
Neymar didn't take the bus to Rennes, Donnarumma and Juan Bernat saved face
4 - Marquinhos: Pretty much like Danilo (read his blurb above) he just went through the motions and didn't do anything remarkably good to help PSG nor remarkably bad to sink his team.
5 - Mukiele: It was about time for him to have a subpar game. Can't drop the hammer on him, though, as he was forced out of the pitch with an injury and Hakimi clearly played much worse than the French in replacement. Here's hoping he's back available and fully fit when PSG plays next in 10 days.
(Sub) 3 - Hakimi: Could have stayed in Brooklyn and extended his 10-day vacation for 10 more days. Nobody would have noticed. Well yes, we would have, because he was the man losing Truffert on the scoring play by Rennes.
6 - Bernat: Forgettable on Wednesday, a nice performer on Sunday. The best outfield player on the pitch along with Warren Zaire-Emery, and the only Parisian to shoot a ball on target through the full 90 minutes. Nuno Mendes can come back soon enough, but Bernat kept his head above water yesterday.
4 - Vitinha: Flopped a bit after not playing badly against Angers. Perhaps facing a lesser opponent made it easier for him and he struggled when facing a stronger midfield, as was the case against Lens on Jan. 1. The return of Verratti to hold him accountable will definitely help the young Portuguese.
(Sub) 3 - Ruiz: Another game, another stinker. Pablo Sarabia was shown the door this past weekend and even though Ruiz just arrived in Paris last summer odds are he crosses the exit door sooner rather than later if he keeps up this mediocre type of outing...
6 - Zaire-Emery: Not even 17 years old and balling like a goddam pro. WZE should start every game from now on in replacement of a struggling Ruiz unless Galtier decides to use Verratti higher up the pitch along with Vitinha and Danilo on a holding position. Plenty of greatness ahead for this young Frenchman.
(Sub) 3 - Soler: I was going to drop the NR but he entered the pitch along with Ruiz so that wouldn't have been fair. Another failure for the man who once said he wanted a "10-year deal" at his former club Valencia. He won't be getting it in Paris judging by his performances at PSG...
2 - Neymar: Seriously, bro? We are pleased Neymar made it to the pitch because that's all he did and all we can report about his putrid game on Sunday. If he's still nursing his ankle, he should let Galtier know about that and just stay home or on the bench. Better to sit out games than take a position another player (fit and willing to help the team, not like the Brazilian lately) could be deployed at, right?
5 - Messi: Offered himself to teammates, roamed the pitch, tried to make things work... to no avail. Misfired a bunch of times and was closer to what one could expect from a man coming back from a World Cup-winning run than the goalscoring version we watched last Wednesday at the Parc in his first game since returning from Qatar.
3 - Ekitike: Shout-out Hugo for mimicking Ney's antics. Fantastic no-show.
(Sub) 4 - Mbappe: Got to the pitch after nearly an hour and had 30 minutes to score a goal. He actually couldn't have had a clearer chance in front of Mandanda but somehow he entirely missed the target. Awful game after spending time away resting in the USA. He better step up before it's too late and Bayern Munich puts PSG to bed on the UCL.