Paris Saint-Germain had Kylian Mbappe to thank as the Frenchman’s late goal secured a hard-fought 3-2 win over Brest on Sunday afternoon.
Goals from Warren Zaire-Emery and Mbappe – his 250th at club level – had PSG cruising to victory midway through the first half but Brest equalised shortly before half-time and deservedly tied things up early in the second.
PSG had to hold on at times, with Brest missing a handful of glorious chances in a second half which they largely dominated, but Mbappe would save the day in the dying embers after tapping home the rebound from his own saved penalty.
How the game unfolded
Lee Kang-in’s fierce strike was pushed out to the feet of Bradley Barcola just minutes into the game, but the young winger’s tame attempt at a rebound saw PSG fail to take the first opportunity of the match.
Brest stopper Marco Bizot was active early on, pushing away another thumping effort from Zaire-Emery soon after, but some unconvincing play out from the back from PSG’s Gianluigi Donnarumma invited a wave of pressure from the hosts.
It was Zaire-Emery who restored PSG’s stamp on the game with a glorious effort from outside the penalty area which fizzed into the back of the Brest net 16 minutes in.
Mbappe made it 2-0 soon after, cutting in from the left and finding the back of Bizot’s net thanks to a tough deflection.
Brest did not lie down and stabbed themselves back into the game shortly before half-time. Kenny Lala’s excellent cross was headed beyond Donnarumma by Steve Mounie, halving PSG’s lead at the break.
The hosts kept their momentum alive after the break and quickly tied things up. Jeremy Le Douaron nodded home from a corner early in the second half, again steering his effort well into the side netting to leave Donnarumma with no chance.
Mounie then fluffed a great chance to put Brest ahead, slicing wide from the edge of the box despite having time to control his effort, while Le Douaron also missed two great opportunities as PSG found themselves hanging on for the majority of the second half.
With five minutes to go, VAR intervened to advise a review for a foul on Randal Kolo Muani in the penalty area, and a spot-kick was swiftly awarded.
Up stepped Mbappe, whose penalty was saved by Bizot, but the 24-year-old tapped home the rebound to seal the three points.
GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma – 5/10 – Hardly at fault for either header but had invited plenty of pressure before that through his poor distribution from the back. Had fans feeling nervous throughout.
RB: Achraf Hakimi – 6/10 – Active in the first half and looked incredibly dangerous linking up with Lee, but ended up being pinned back as PSG were forced to defend.
CB: Danilo Pereira – 5/10 – Let Mounie drift away from him shortly before half-time and was made to pay. Nowhere near impactful enough in the air.
CB: Milan Skriniar – 5/10 – Another frustrating game from the summer signing. Slow in possession and too easily beaten at times.
LB: Lucas Hernandez – 6/10 – A real pest in defence. Happy to tread a fine disciplinary line to get into the heads of his opponents and clearly riled them up. An ugly job but a solid one.
DM: Fabian Ruiz – 7/10 – Continued his immense hot streak in the first half but was clearly physically exhausted after the break and could not maintain his level.
DM: Warren Zaire-Emery – 8/10 – The starboy was at it again. Zaire-Emery looked determined to score from the first kick and netted a glorious goal when PSG really needed somebody to show their composure.
AM: Lee Kang-in – 7/10 – Involved in a lot in the first half but saw his influence fade after the break as PSG were clinging on.
AM: Bradley Barcola – 7/10 – This is the sort of performance that led Barcola to PSG in the first place. Active and lively to try and charge his way through Brest and was largely successful in doing so.
ST: Goncalo Ramos – 4/10 – Found it really hard to get involved, but even when he did, he wasn’t good enough. Ramos’ poor first touch led to several sloppy turnovers for PSG.
ST: Kylian Mbappe – 8/10 – Another unsurprisingly excellent performance from Mbappe, who was relentless in pursuit of his goal. Brest threw everything at him but couldn’t stop the Frenchman, who made up for his missed penalty by slotting home the winner.
SUB: Randal Kolo Muani (63′ for Ramos) – 6/10
SUB: Ousmane Dembele (63′ for Barcola) – 5/10
SUB: Vitinha (74′ for Lee) – 6/10
SUB: Nordi Mukiele (90′ for Mbappe) – N/A
Subs not used: Arnau Tenas (GK), Vitinha, Manuel Ugarte, Ethan Mbappe, Cher Ndour, Carlos Soler
Luis Enrique – 5/10 – His initial setup proved perfect but Brest eventually figured it out and had PSG pinned back for large parts of the game. Enrique didn’t appear able to find a solution.