Kylian Mbappé found the net but could not prevent Paris Saint-Germain suffering their first defeat of the 2017-18 season with a shock 2-1 loss at RC Strasbourg Alsace on Saturday.
RC Strasbourg Alsace 2-1 Paris Saint-Germain
With just two wins from their seven home games to date and one win in their last 20 meetings with PSG, Strasbourg had both form and history against them. Yet, they quickly disrupted the visitors with their physicality before delivering a first body blow just 13 minutes in.
Dimitri Liénard’s free-kick from the left found Nuno Da Costa curiously unmarked inside the penalty area. With the PSG defence slow to react to the danger, he was able to head his fourth goal of the season past Alphonse Areola.
Retreating on their laurels, Strasbourg invited PSG’s talented forwards, minus Edinson Cavani, rested ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League group stage finale at Bayern Munich, to test their defensive qualities.
Thierry Laurey’s men held out with a degree of luck – when Mbappé flicked just wide (17′) – and poor finishing – released by Neymar Jr, Angel Di Maria should have tested Bingourou Kamara in the home goal only to drag his shot wide (38′). The Argentina international did shortly afterwards, but hit his effort straight at the Strasbourg ‘keeper (41′).
It was left to Mbappé, playing in the central role usually filled by Cavani, to level the scores before the break. Javier Pastore and Neymar Jr combined with the latter freeing Adrien Rabiot to deliver a pass to the near post where Mbappé clinically claimed goal number five of the league campaign (42′).
The summer signing from AS Monaco helped his team come desperately close to going in front before the interval, but after he and Pastore had teed up Di Maria, his left-foot shot on the turn hit a post before bouncing into the arms of a grateful Kamara (45’).
With the momentum with them, PSG would have expected to have pushed on after the restart, but Strasbourg held firm before stunning Unai Emery’s men by moving ahead.
Kamara’s long clearance was flicked on by Da Costa into the run of Stéphane Bakhoken. Keeping Yuri Berchiche at bay, the former OGC Nice forward smashed a right-foot shot beyond the grasp of Areola (65′).
The 25,000-strong crowd, for the most part passionately backing the hosts, must have expected the injury-enforced departure of Kamara 19 minutes from time and the arrival of Cavani three minutes later to have an influence.
In fact, the two incidents cancelled each other out. Cavani got his chance, deep into the nine minutes added on at the end of the game, but he saw Kamara’s replacement, Alexandre Oukidja, block his ricochet to Rabiot’s shot as Strasbourg recorded a famous win (90+8′).
THE PLAYER: Nuno Da Costa
The Cape Verde international had a hand in both goals and again proved his ability to play against the best at the very highest level. It’s hard to believe he only made his top-flight debut this season at the age of 26.
THE STAT: 1
The loss was PSG’s first in 22 competitive outings this season.