PSG ratings: Neymar 6, Mbappe 7 in escape act against Nimes
Paris Saint-Germain made it four Ligue 1 wins from as many matches with a 4-2 victory away at Nimes on Saturday in an eventful encounter at Stade des Costieres.
Neymar silenced the home supporters with a first-half opener and Angel Di Maria's goal direct from a corner made it 2-0 at the break, but then Antonin Bobichon and a Teji Savanier penalty brought Nimes level in the second 45.
Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani restored PSG's cushion in the final half-hour, but the French World Cup winner was sent off along with Savanier at the end.
Seemingly cruising towards a win at halftime, PSG made hard work of it in the second half, so to finish with all three points was a relief. Mbappe, Cavani, Neymar and Di Maria's attacking prowess was largely to thank, with each player scoring and the France international also grabbing an assist. However, despite Nimes scoring twice, goalkeeper Alphonse Areola and defender Presnel Kimpembe's roles in the success should not be overlooked.
A two-goal winning margin might appear comfortable, but Thomas Tuchel's first trip to Stade des Costieres with his new team was anything but. PSG were lucky that Nimes did not take more of their chances, notably Sofiane Alakouche's second-half effort that hit the bar. On top of that, the defence struggled mightily at times, and Marquinhos was disastrous as Tuchel continues to play him in defensive midfield.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- At times, Gianluigi Buffon was more animated than Tuchel. The German tactician's starting XI, with the introduction of Thilo Kehrer for Stanley N'Soki just after the hour, got the job done. However, it was not always convincing as players continue to find their way back to full fitness.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 7 -- He couldn't do much about Bobichon's excellent strike and Savanier's penalty, but despite those two goals conceded he made a number of important saves -- particularly moments before Mbappe made it 3-2.
DF Thomas Meunier, 5 -- It was not the easiest day for the defence, but he got forward when possible and linked up nicely with Mbappe to craft Neymar's opener. A booking slightly detracted from his outing.
DF Thiago Silva, 4 -- A unconvincing performance from the captain was summed up when he conceded the penalty via VAR, while cramping up towards the end only added insult to his injury.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 7 -- The best of the defenders on the day, his no-nonsense approach was exactly what was needed up against a rough Nimes side and his ball over the top to assist Mbappe's goal to make it 3-2 was excellent.
DF Stanley N'Soki, 4 -- Another struggle up against motivated opposition, it was no surprise when Tuchel opted to send Kehrer on for him just after the hour.
MF Marquinhos, 3 -- Tuchel persists in trying to turn him into a defensive midfielder, but it is just not working. Admittedly, Adrien Rabiot could have helped more on the day, but it is still an unconvincing move away from central defence.
MF Adrien Rabiot, 5 -- It was a significant drop from his preseason and early campaign form, but it was a collective collapse that was perhaps most notable in the middle where he was the only natural central midfielder.
LW Angel Di Maria, 6 -- With his goal direct from a first-half corner, he continues to make significant contributions since the start of term. That said, he faded in the second half and perhaps should have been withdrawn before the 82nd minute.
CAM Neymar, 6 -- Another match, another goal. He made his key contribution with the opener, finishing after Meunier and Mbappe combined well and celebrated by pretending to cry in front of home fans who were trying to rile him. Replaced by Christopher Nkunku late on after a second-half booking and gifted his shirt to a pitch invader who wanted a hug.
RW Kylian Mbappe, 7 -- Never a dull moment. A goal, an assist, a booking and a straight red card. He linked up well with Meunier in the build-up to Neymar's opener, took his goal well, teed Cavani up in cheeky fashion before unleashing some understandable frustration in Savanier's direction after a poor challenge. Liverpool, beware: he will be well rested at Anfield later this month.
FW Edinson Cavani, 6 -- Relatively quiet until Mbappe provided him with his chance. He took it and now has two goals from as many appearances as he continues to work his way back to full fitness.
DF Thilo Kehrer, 5 -- Sent on to relieve the struggling N'Soki, he did a little better but was not at ease out of his natural central position.
MF Julian Draxler, NR -- Given eight minutes in place of Di Maria at the end, he will hope that Mbappe's suspension means that he will finally get the chance to show Tuchel what he can do when handed the chance.
FW Christopher Nkunku, NR -- Replaced Neymar in added time and was hard pressed to get on the ball, let alone do something with it.