Paris Saint-Germain eventually made light work of promoted Ajaccio in a 3-0 victory in Ligue 1 on Friday evening.L
Christophe Galtier opposed his son Jordan, who works as a coach for Ajaccio. His son’s employers started well and did well to unsettle PSG early on. That didn’t last long, however, as PSG took a 1-0 lead at half-time thanks to Kylian Mbappe.
However, given the number of chances they spurned, there was cause for concern. Les Parisiens were wasteful in front of goal and were only let off thanks to a combination of confident defending and Ajaccio’s restraint. However, in the end they kept going until the final whistle and were rewarded for their efforts, Lionel Messi adding a second and Mbappe finishing the game with a brace.
The home side did a good job of keeping their visitors at bay in the opening stages, dictating the tempo of the game, limiting chances and even going forward themselves. Mounaim El Idrissy even fired into the side netting after five minutes, giving PSG fears.
However, for all their valiant work playing high up the pitch and trying their best to unsettle PSG, Ajaccio were punished after 24 minutes when they were brought down in their own half by Messi, who slotted past Mbappe to fire the ball to 1-0 in the blink of an eye.
Taking the lead significantly settled Christoph Galtier’s side, who were suddenly more confident in possession. Mbappe should have put them 2-0 up after half an hour, but somehow fired Achraf Hakimi’s square ball over the bar.
It was possible that Mbappe played the first half with the wrong boots on. For all the great runs he made off the shoulder of the left-back, he should have had a hat-trick. After an earlier shootout, a poor first touch resulted in another misdirected effort after 42 minutes. That, combined with Fabian Ruiz’s effort curling in off the post, meant Ajaccio were just one behind at the break – crucial to keeping their comeback hopes alive.
There was a relaxed nature around PSG’s performance in possession after the break. While they looked good defensively, the relaxed approach to building attacks and testing Benjamin Leroy in the Ajaccio goal was slightly worrying.
However, Christoph Galtier’s side never looked troubled in possession and were able to carve out chances whenever they upped the tempo and turned on the style. Perhaps the biggest compliment you could give is that they never looked scared or shaken at the back; an improvement that speaks volumes for the French.
After a brief stoppage in play due to an off-field incident, with around 15 minutes remaining, PSG doubled their lead in stunning style when Mbappe kicked the ball to Messi, who cut through and rolled the ball away from the keeper before touching down. empty net.
This fantastic finish was followed by another when Messi returned the favor in the 82nd minute to Mbappe who fantastically sealed the 3-0 victory.
PSG player ratings vs Ajaccio – Ligue 1
1. PSG (4-3-3)
GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma – 6/10 – Punching away a cross inside the opening 20 minutes was about as lively as the Italian’s evening got. Finally down to make a save after 71 minutes.
RB: Achraf Hakimi – 7/10 – Improved performance after a wasteful display against Marseille. Hakimi’s touch was sharper, his dribbles were more successful and delivered with more sting.
CB: Nordi Mukiele – 6/10 – Wasn’t challenged all too much, but fulfilled his duties with confidence and composure. Now is his time to stake his claim with Ramos suspended and Danilo Pereira injured.
CB: Marquinhos – 7/10 – Confident as ever on and off the ball, keeping the defence switched on and seeing off rare counter attacks with little trouble.
LB: Juan Bernat – 6/10 – Ajaccio’s best chances seemed to come from the left flank, which was a concern. Got forward well after the break, though, and forced a good save after 47 minutes.
CM: Marco Verratti – 6/10 – Really poor start to the game that saw him booked after several late challenges and complaints directed towards the referee. Picked up his performance though and put in a classy shift.
CM: Renato Sanches – 7/10 – Nerves clearly had too much control of him in the first half, but when the shackles came off, Sanches grew into the game tremendously. A selection of inch perfect flicks and passes around the corner in the second half.
CM: Fabian Ruiz – 7/10 – A confident performance from Ruiz who was more confident in venturing forward tonight. Close to scoring a curled effort on the cusp of half-time.
RW: Lionel Messi – 9/10 – Chief creator. Messi lacked the finesse in his shot and sometimes his final touch, but was constantly finding space as only he can and pinging intricate passes to teammates. Joyous.
ST: Kylian Mbappe – 7/10 – Alert to hold his line and stay onside for the opening goal, which he finished confidently. Spurned so many chances, though. Got to sharpen up in the bigger games; could’ve had a handful tonight.
LW: Carlos Soler – 5/10 – The quietest of the front three. Picked up nice positions here and there, but seemed to struggle with Messi doing the job between the lines that you’d want him to do.
SUB: Vitinha (62′ for Sanches) – 5/10
SUB: Pablo Sarabia (71′ for Soler) – 5/10
SUB: Hugo Ekitike (83′ for Mbappe) – N/A
SUB: Warren Zaire-Emery (83′ for Ruiz) – N/A
Manager: Christophe Galtier – 8/10 – Rotated his XI from a win against Marseille, but the squad maintained the same principles that make them so dangerous. Would advise some extra finishing drills in training on Monday, though.