Rennes beats PSG 2-0 to hand league leader its 1st defeat

National Sports

PARIS (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 free kick in the 31st minute. Laborde then turned provider in the 46th for midfielder Flavien Tait.

”We played a very phyiscal 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.

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

PSG is six points ahead of second-placed Lens and eight clear of third-placed Nice, which has played one game less.

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.

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 free kick 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, Messi set up Mbappe midway through the first half – but the shot was scuffed – 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.

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.

Also Sunday, Marseille lost 2-0 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.

Canada forward Jonathan David scored twice to continue his fine form, and his second goal deep into injury time was set up by United States forward Timothy Weah, the son of Liberia president George Weah.

Marseille finished with 10 players after Turkey winger Cengiz Under was sent off in the 77th for a high tackle.

Marseille dropped to fifth place behind Angers. Improving Lille moved up to eighth spot but could lose that position if Lyon wins at bitter rival Saint-Etienne in the late game.

OTHER MATCHES

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

Monaco’s resurgence continued as it beat Bordeaux 3-0 to move up to sixth place and Nantes beat Troyes 2-0.

Erik-Palmer Brown, a 24-year-old American defender, started for Troyes in his debut following a loan from Manchester City. He was substituted in the 76th minute.

Also, it was Lorient 1, Clermont 1.

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