Neymar scored twice and contributed two assists as Paris Saint-Germain won 4-1 at Rennes. Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani ensured all of the MCN were on the scoresheet.
Rennes had matched PSG for points over the preceding eight league games but a gulf in class was apparent from the first minutes. Despite a brave fightback at the start of the second half, the Breton club’s hopes ere finished when Benjamin André was sent off for a second yellow card in the 63rdminute.
PSG raced into a two-goal advantage. On four minutes Mbappé played an exquisite one-two with Marco Verratti before crossing for Neymar to tap home his 10th league goal of the season. 13 minutes later the Brazilian returned the favour and Mbappé couldn’t miss from close range.
Cavani hadn’t scored in his four previous club appearances and his drought looked set to be extended when he was denied twice in the space of two minutes approaching half-time. First, Hamari Traoré made a goal-line clearance and then a combination of Tomas Koubek and Joris Gnagnon kept the Uruguayan out.
Rennes pulled one back eight minutes after the restart when Firmin Mubele followed up to score after Morgan Amalfitano had headed a corner against the post. Even after André was sent off, substitute Wahbi Khazri went close to an equaliser.
Then PSG scored twice in two minutes to seal the deal. Neymar’s delightful ball found Cavani and the striker lifted the ball over the advancing Koubek. A minute later Rennes were punished for giving the ball away as Neymar turned in Mbappé’s low cross. Neymar and Mbappé had further chances before Rennes were awared a late penalty, PSG centre-half Presnel Kimpembe collecting a second yellow card for fouling James Lea-Siliki. Khazri blazed the kick over the bar.
THE PLAYER: Neymar
Back from a brief trip to Brazil for personal reasons, the world’s most expensive player was really up for this. He had nine shots in all, four of them on target, and touched the ball 98 times in total, more than any other player. The Barcelona star was exceptionally close to his first Ligue 1 Conforama hat-trick.
THE STAT: 106
Edinson Cavani marked his 150th Ligue 1 Conforama appearance with his 106th top flight goal. He has scored 18 this season and is on to 154 goals for Paris Saint-Germain in all competitions, two behind the club record held by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.