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Rennes sink PSG at home to hand season’s first defeat to Ligue 1 leaders

Gaetan Laborde put Rennes ahead on the stroke of half-time after PSG had started to get on top. Laborde then turned provider in the 46th minute for midfielder Flavien Tait.

Lionel Messi reacts during Ligue 1 match between Rennes and Paris Saint-Germain. (AP)

Rennes scored just before and after the break to beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on Sunday and hand the runaway league leader its first defeat of the season.

Gaetan Laborde put Rennes ahead on the stroke of halftime after PSG had started to get on top, with Lionel Messi hitting the crossbar with a freekick in the 31st minute. Laborde then turned provider in the 46th for midfielder Flavien Tait.

“We played a very physical game and we hurt them on each of our runs,” Tait said. “They were missing something today with their finishing.”

PSG had won its opening eight games but had been fortunate in some and needed injury-time goals to edge a win against Lyon and Metz.

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“The first person respsonsible is me,” PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said after he was outwitted by Rennes coach Bruno Genesio.

Rennes has been a tough place to visit in recent seasons and was again so for different reasons.

Because of heavy wind and rain in the Paris area, the team was unable to fly to Brittany on Saturday night and instead arrived at the stadium by coach and car. Sports daily L’Equipe’s website said Kylian Mbappe, Achraf Hakimi, Keylor Navas and Neymar all drove.

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The six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who scored a brilliant first goal for PSG in the Champions League on Tuesday, had a shot blocked early on. He then hit the crossbar with a freekick for the second time since joining PSG in a shock move from Barcelona, where he netted 672 goals.

Although he still awaits his first league goal for PSG, he set up Mbappe midway through the first half — but he scuffed his shot — and almost created a goal for Neymar.

PSG was punished when Ghana winger Kamaldeen Sulemana picked out Laborde for his league-leading sixth goal of the season — two more than Mbappe.

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Mbappe scored midway through the second half after Messi and Angel Di Maria put him through. But the goal was ruled out after a video review showed Mbappe was offside.

The irrepressible Laborde won a late penalty after a tussle with Hakimi, but it was called off following a review.

Later Sunday, Marseille was at defending champion Lille with Marseille fans mourning the loss of iconic former president Bernard Tapie, who died on Sunday morning from cancer. He was 78.

Marseille fans erected a giant portrait of Tapie in front of their home stadium Stade Velodrome as fans, some of them in tears, paid their respects.

Lille and Marseille fans joined together in a moment’s applause before the game as a picture of Tapie was beamed on the stadium scoreboard. Marseille players wore black armbands.

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In the late game, Saint-Etienne hosted bitter local rival Lyon.

OTHER MATCHES

Angers twice came from behind before beating Metz 3-2, with 17-year-old forward Mohamed-Ali Cho among the scorers for fourth-place Angers.

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Monaco’s resurgence continued as it beat Bordeaux 3-0 to move up to sixth place and Nantes beat Troyes 2-0 to climb to eighth spot — although Lyon can leapfrog both with a win.

Also, it was Lorient 1, Clermont 1.

First published on: 03-10-2021 at 23:19 IST
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