Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Rennes: Strong second half showing from the champions

PSG equalled their Ligue 1 all time points tally as they set aside the visitors with ease.

Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Rennes: Strong second half showing from the champions
Maxwell celebrates his rare goal with his team mates. (Photo:
Paris Saint-Germain
4 0
Stade Rennais
Paris Saint-Germain: Trapp; Aurier, Marquinhos, Silva, Maxwell; Motta (Luiz), Stambouli (Verratti), Pastore; Di Maria (Lucas), Cavani, Ibrahimovic.
Stade Rennais: Costil; Moreira, Gnagnon (Gourcuff), Mexer, Armand (Mendes), Baal; Fernandes, Sylla; Henrique (Boga), Sio, Dembele.
SCORE: 1-0, min. 50, Maxwell. 2-0, min. 54, Ibrahimovic. 3-0, min. 78, Ibrahimovic. 4-0, min. 90+1, Cavani.
REFEREE: Amaury Delarue.

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain equalled their all time points total as they took apart Stade Rennais at the Parc des Princes on Friday night.

Two Zlatan Ibrahimovic goals were sandwiched in between successful conversions from Maxwell and Edison Canvani as PSG made Rennes' quest for European football next season even tougher.

Rennes manager Rolland Courbis made a few changes to his side going into the game in the capital. The veteran coach handed 19-year-old defender Joris Gnagnon his first start and brought in Pedro Henrique to replace the injured Kamil Groscki on the wing. The hosts were without Blaise Matuidi through injury and Adrien Rabiot was suspended.

PSG dominate the first but cannot find the first goal

Despite a resilient showing from the start, Rennes couldn't fathom any goal scoring opportunities in the early stages. It took 23 minutes before Benoit Costil was tested in the Rennes goal. Lovely interplay between the PSG attackers ended with Angel di Maria forcing the French international keeper to pull off an impressive parried save.

The only shot of the half from Rennes came following some quick counter-attacking play by Ousmane Dembele. The youngster ran straight through the static PSG defence and eventually the ball was played out to Ludovic Baal. Unfortunately, the left-back's shot was straight down the throat of Kevin Trapp who managed to hold and end any signs of an upset.

Ibrahimovic was at the double on Friday night. (Photo:
Ibrahimovic was at the double on Friday night. (Photo:

Sensational second half for Blanc's champions

In the second half there was a clear intent in the PSG squad to start strongly and take advantage of their dominance in the match. Only a few seconds in and Costil made his second big save of the game to deny Ibrahimovic.

The scoring did open only five minutes from the restart with departing left-back Maxwell being the scorer. The ex-Barcelona defender looked like he was masquerading as ex-teammate Lionel Messi as he dribbled his way through the feeble Rennes defence. His eventual strike almost burst the net as he gave his side the lead. 

Four minutes later PSG doubled their lead with the familiar name of Ibrahimovic getting on the score sheet. A sublime cross field ball into the box found Ibrahimovic who audaciously turned the ball into the net. There were suggestions of offside against Cavani who looked like interfering in play when the ball was played into the penalty area.

More attacking changes were made by Courbis to try and salvage something from the game. Yoann Gourcuff made his return from injury and Jeremie Boga replaced Pedro Henrique who was battered and bruised throughout. The changes seemed to have a much more positive effect as the away side played much better free flowing football, but the champions stood tall to stop any suggestions of a comeback.

Ibrahimovic managed his second of the match on 78 minutes after he held off Baal inside the box to force a shot on goal. The effort hit the underside of the bar and came back down to increase PSG's lead to three goals. Perhaps the Swede's third last league game in Paris colours, he definitely showed what the Parisians could be missing next season. 

Just before full-time the scoring was ended for the night with Cavani finally getting the better of Costil. The two had a running battle throughout the match but the winger got the last laugh to score his 23rd goal in all competitions this season. His curled shot from close range nestled into the net giving Costil no chance of stopping it.

A meaningless game in the long run for PSG, but it does mean that they are on course to breaking the record for most points ever in Ligue 1 with a couple of games to go. For Rennes, this match would have been budgeted as a defeat before kick-off. However, the defeat means that they must get six points from their next matches against Montpellier and Bastia, and hope Lille slip up, to even think of Europe next season.

Rennes captain for the night Sylvain Armand believes Europe is still within their sights, but admits the sore derby defeat at home to Guingamp is what changed everything mentality wise for Les Rouges et Noirs.