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Nine men Rennes defeat PSG at the Parc de Princes

Matthew Riding

PSG 300x225 Nine men Rennes defeat PSG at the Parc de PrincesParis Saint-Germain fell to a second home defeat in a row, as they were outfought by nine-men Rennes in the capital at the weekend.

Goals from Romain Alessandrini and Julian Feret proved the difference for the away side as PSG sunk to third place in Ligue 1, behind leaders Lyon and second-placed Bordeaux.

Talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent-off for a kung-fu style kick on St Etienne goalkeeper Stéphane Ruffier in their last league outing, and the Parisians felt the full effect of his absence against Frederic Antonetti’s side at Parc de Princes. After his world class performance against England a week ago, and that remarkable bicycle kick, Ibrahimovic’s importance to club and country has never been higher.

However, with or without Ibrahimovic, you would expect a side with a two-man advantage to defeat the opposition, especially on home soil, but Carlo Ancelotti’s men lacked know-how and guile and laboured to a disappointing defeat.

The only positives to take from the game for last year’s Ligue 1 runners-up, were the performances of Javier Pastore and winger Nene. Despite being highly rated and much coveted prior to his move, Pastore has so far failed to deliver in a PSG shirt, and his displays have left people questioning his value to the side.

When PSG signed the 23-year-old playmaker from Serie A side Palermo in 2011 for a reported €40m, huge expectation was placed on his shoulders. Europe’s top clubs including Chelsea and Manchester United were heavily linked with Pastore, and the pressure of being at one of Europe’s most high profile clubs has appeared to have taken its toll on the Argentinian international.

Earlier this month, Pastore was asked for the reason behind his failure to adapt to Ligue 1. Under Ancelotti, Pastore has been adopted a number of different roles on the field, but the 2010 Serie A young player of the year cited other reasons for his poor form: “It has nothing to do with the positioning on the field or the coach. It is more of a problem in my head than anything else. This is a personal problem, I am the one able to adjust.”

With millions of Euros at PSG’s disposal due to heavy Qatari backing, it is perhaps fair to say that Pastore could be deemed surplus to requirements, however, in Saturday’s defeat to Rennes, he was one of only a few to give Ancelotti some hope going forward.

With his side 1-0 down, Pastore played a delightful ball through to winger Nene, who chipped goalkeeper Benoit Costil to get PSG back on level terms. Throughout the game, Nene provided PSG with an outlet and along with Pastore, the Brazilian was the standout player. Despite Pastore and Nene’s best efforts, PSG found themselves behind in the game once more, and despite Rennes being reduced to nine men with 40 minutes to go, Ancelotti and his 11 players could not find a way back into the game.

Credit to Rennes though, to beat any team with nine men is a remarkable achievement, and their coaching staff and players celebrated as if they had won the league title.

With a lack of cutting edge for the majority of the game, PSG will need to drastically improve if they are to challenge Lyon and co for the title, who now lie two points ahead with a game in hand. Oh, and having Ibrahimovic on the pitch will help too.

Something You May Have Missed

- According to reports, PSG are leading the race to sign David Beckham, after the former England captain announced he will leave current club LA Galaxy after the MLS Cup Final on December 1.

- Zlatan Ibrahimovic caused a stir at the club’s training ground as he tried to park in the technical staff’s car parking spaces. He was refused entry by club officials, so he decided to park his car at the entrance, blocking incoming and outgoing vehicles.

Picture:Getty Images

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