And off we go!

Equipe première


The key moments
After the Stade de France three months earlier, Paris and Rennes met in the stifling heat of the Shenzhen Universiade Sport Center to give the official kick-off to the 2019/20 season. Paris, the six-time reigning champions, quickly took control of the game and the ball, and Thilo Kehrer rattled the bar with a header (11'). Rennes though caught out the French champions on the counter-attack, and Adrien Hunou put them ahead (0-1, 13').


That was the cue for Paris to turn up the heat on the Rennes goal. Pablo Sarabia's piledriver (16') and Ander Herrera's effort (18') both worried Tomas Koubek in the Rennes goal, while Marco Verratti sent Kylian Mbappé clear only for the France international to fire wide of the target (40'). Edinson Cavani also failed to beat an off-balance Koubek (40') as Rennes headed into the interval in front. It did not last long though as Mbappé, fed by Sarabia, greedily snapped up the equaliser (1-1, 57').


Only Koubek denied the fleet-footed forward, whose every touch was cheered noisily by the crowd, a second (62') before Angel Di Maria, who came off the bench on 61 minutes, also tested the Czech goalkeeper (68'). He then beat him with a delicious free-kick (2-1, 73') as Thomas Tuchel's men moved ahead. Rennes might have found a leveller in added time through Romain del Castillo (90+2') and Eduardo Camavinga (90+3'), but Paris held on to claim the club's 40th piece of silverware and set themselves up nicely for the start of their league title defence next week.

A Parisian in the match: Angel Di Maria  
It's that left foot that did it again! A year ago, Di Maria scored twice, including a superb free-kick, in the Trophée des Champions, and did it again in Shenzhen to bring up his 70th goal in the Rouge-et-Bleu. 

The word: Globetrotters
From Libreville in 2013 to Shenzhen for the last two via Montreal in 2015, Paris Saint-Germain clearly love travelling for the Trophée des Champions. In their record 12th participation in the event, they lifted the trophy for a ninth time, also an unprecedented feat. They're also the first club to win it in seven successive years, besting Lyon's six.


Coming up
After this China Tour 2019, it's now time to go looking for a ninth league title. Next Sunday, the French champions will face Nîmes at the Parc des Princes, a side they beat 3-0 in the capital last February. Unbeaten in Ligue 1 at home last season (17 wins, 2 draws), hospitality will be in short supply for the visitors.