Ligue 1

Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain Start 2018 With Rennes Win

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (R) celebrates after scoring with Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe during the French cup football match Rennes vs Paris SG at the Roazhon Park in Rennes, on January 7, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCE (Photo credit should read LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain Start 2018 With Rennes Win

Unai Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain started 2018 in typical Parisian fashion with a mostly clinical 6-1 rout of Sabri Lamouchi’s Stade Rennais FC in the 2017-18 Coupe de France Round of 64. Three different players scored braces for PSG: Kylian Mbappe (9′, 76), Man of the Match Neymar Santos Jr. (17′, 43′) and Angel Di Maria (24, 74′). Benjamin Bourigeaud scored a penalty in the 66th minute to put Rennes on the scoresheet.

The only real lowlight for Paris was that of Thiago Motta. Not only was the longtime veteran for PSG not fully match fit, he also unnecessarily conceded a penalty. The recurring ankle injury forced a substitution of Christopher Nkunku, who put on a decent shift in game management relief.

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Overall, PSG were mighty fine in their return from the holidays, dominating the one key characteristic in possession (63 percent to 37 percent) despite Rennes dominating shots (14 to nine), shots on goal (10 to four), fouls (15 to eight) and saves (seven to three). This was one of the rare clean matches for Paris Saint-Germain this season, with no cards issues despite some bold challenges on both ends.

There was no Cupset on the cards at Roazhon in a Round of 64 that saw some notable scalps taking place. Sochaux defeated Amiens 6-0 at home. The Unicorns are PSG’s next opponent on the calendar, in the Coupe de Ligue quarterfinals. It is also the second of three straight away ties to open January for the Ligue 1 leaders.

But the biggest upset took place in a small Normandy town called Granville, not too far from Avranches and in fact, located in the arrondissement of that exact name. There, a team named US Granville, an amateur side that plays in National 2, France’s fourth division, shocked the nation with a 2-1 win over Jocelyn Gourvennec’s FC Girondins de Bordeaux, potentially placing embattled manager Jocelyn Gourvennec full speed ahead into a point of no return.

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Ligue 1

Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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