Paris show no mercy
THE MATCH: PARIS ON SHOW!
Paris were determined to make a bright start to the New Year and this first 90 minutes of 2018 revealed some very promising resolutions! The winter break clearly did the world of good to the capital club players who burst out of the starting blocks... just seconds after firing over, Kylian Mbappé opened the scoring with a clinical left-foot finish from Thiago Silva's pass over the top (0-1, 9')! Les Parisiens were enjoying themselves and Rennes paid the penalty as Angel Di Maria, Adrien Rabiot and Marco Verratti set up Neymar Jr for a splendid second (0-2, 17')!
Neymar Jr then hit the crossbar (21'), before releasing Yuri Berchiche down the left. The Spaniard's cross picked out Di Maria at the back post for a simple finish (0-3, 23')! Paris were on fire and could easily have had more, were it not for an excellent Diallo in the Rennes goal to deny Neymar Jr (25', 33', 36') and Mbappé (30'). A flowing counterattack which saw the front three combine brilliantly again as Di Maria and Mbappé set up 'Ney' for his second of the night (0-4, 44') and a perfect end to a stunning first half! After the break, Rennes pulled a goal back through Bourigeaud, from the penalty spot (1-4, 66'). Neymar Jr hit the woodwork for a second time with a free-kick that kissed the outside of the post (69'), before Paris turned up the heat once again! In two minutes, the capital club reasserted its dominance with Mbappé setting up Di Maria for a clinical finish from the edge of the area (1-5, 74') before the Argentine returned the favour (1-6, 76')! Three forwards, three braces and six goals... a great way to start 2018!
MAN IN THE MATCH: IRREPRESSIBLE NEY!
The Brazilian, in his favourite yellow away strip was in brilliant form tonight, whether it was his daring, scintillating solo runs or his brilliant passing and intricate combination play, Neymar Jr was unstoppable. Ney netted another two goals to take his tally to 19 in all competitions, and hit the woodwork twice!! It was another breath-taking performance.
WHAT WE LEARNED:
To start a week of three away trips, Paris showed they are not suffering from any travel sickness to start the New Year! Unai Emery's men are on the road to Amiens in the quarter-final of the Coupe de la Ligue looking for a 35th consecutive win in the two domestic cup competitions, before heading to Nantes next weekend for the first Ligue 1 match of 2018!