PSG win, but at what cost? Winners, losers & ratings as Mbappe nightmare overshadows victory over Montpellier

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Kylian Mbappe PSG 2022-23
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Kylian Mbappe and Sergio Ramos were suffered injuries less than two weeks before the Champions League returns to cause Christophe Galtier concern

After winning just one of their four league matches since the World Cup, Paris Saint-Germain had allowed the Ligue 1 title race to open back up as they headed to Montpellier on Wednesday.

And for 55 minutes, it seemed like things would actually be going from bad to to worse for the French champions.

Sergio Ramos and Kylian Mbappe both went off injured in the first half, while Neymar was left out altogether due to muscle fatigue. Mbappe did have time to step up and take a penalty before he was replaced, but saw both his original effort and a retake saved.

Bayern Munich head to Paris in just 13 days' time for the resumption of the Champions League, and fans will now be sweating on the fitness of their superstar forward, as well as veteran defender Ramos.

In Mbappe's absence, it was an unlikely hero who stepped up in the shape of midfielder Fabian Ruiz. The Spain international opened the scoring with his first goal for the club with a toe poke from close range, before assisting Lionel Messi for PSG's second 15 minutes later.

Montpellier pulled one back in the 89th minute, but substitute Warren Zaire-Emery added a third to settle any late nerves for the Ligue 1 leaders - becoming PSG's youngest ever Ligue 1 goalscorer in the process.

GOAL breaks down the winners and losers from the 3-1 win...

  1. The Winners
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    The Winners

    Fabian Ruiz:

    The former Napoli man always figured to be a strange signing for PSG. Though he's not averse to running, Fabian didn't appear to be the industrious type of midfielder to suit Christophe Galtier's system. And the detractors have, so far, been proven right. Fabian has struggled for most of his PSG career, producing plenty of pretty passes but offering little impact on play. That changed on Wednesday, though. With Neymar out and Mbappe injured, Fabian was given more room to get forward, and he did so with aplomb, scoring PSG's first and assisting their second in a standout showing. He is clearly an immense talent, and it's a shame for him that he is unlikely to get more opportunities to prove just how impactful he can be when the big-name attackers return.

    Bayern Munich

    Bayern play PSG in the Champions League in less than two weeks, and they must be quietly delighted that the Ligue 1 leaders are experiencing some injury problems so close to the tie. It's unclear how bad Mbappe and Ramos' knocks are, as both are being reported as muscle issues, meaning it's hard to know exactly how long they'll be out for. But the fact that neither were able to continue playing here suggests that both injuries could be more than just a bump - which is great news for Julian Nagelsmann's side.

    Folarin Balogun

    Arsenal loanee Balogun overtook Mbappe in the Ligue 1 top scorer race earlier on Wednesday, bagging a hat-trick against Lorient to take his total on the season to 14. Still, Mbappe, just one goal behind, had a golden chance to reclaim the top spot when PSG were awarded a penalty after just seven minutes. That he missed once came as a shock, but it was almost unthinkable that he would miss twice when the spot-kick was ordered to be retaken. To cap things off, he then blazed the rebound from the second penalty over the bar before injury ended his night early. Good news for Balogun, then, who remains on top of the goalscoring charts.

  2. The Losers
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    The Losers

    Kylian Mbappe:

    What a terrible night. Mbappe's disaster unfolded over the course of 10 miserable minutes. First, he saw a penalty saved by Benjamin Lecomte. He was asked to retake it after a Montpellier defender encroached, only to miss again before blasting the rebound far over the bar. His time on the pitch was over shortly after, with the France international exiting the game due to an apparent hamstring injury. It didn't appear to be a significant ailment - Mbappe walked off under his own steam - but with a Champions League knockout tie coming up, Mbappe being forced off is a major concern.

    Sergio Ramos:

    It was an unfortunate 30 minutes for Ramos. The centre-back, just rounding into form, exited the game due to a reported adductor injury. He'd been effective to that point, offering much-needed defensive stability for a PSG side struggling to settle into anything resembling attacking rhythm. Ramos is unlikely to be out too long if it is indeed a minor issue, but his absence is a big blow for a team already shorthanded at the back. Presnel Kimpembe is yet to return to full training after sustaining an Achilles injury, while Danilo Pereira is a makeshift centre-back at best. PSG reportedly refused to hand over the hefty fee Inter wanted for Milan Skriniar this January - perhaps they should have paid up.

    Lens' title hopes:

    When Lens beat PSG nearly a month ago, they dragged themselves into the Ligue 1 title race, and an unlikely surge for the top spot didn't seem too far-fetched. At that point, they had only lost once all season, and their win over PSG was a convincing one. But on Wednesday, their title hopes were a dealt a massive blow with a 1-0 defeat to Nice. Things were made worse by the fact that Marseille also won, sending Lens into third, and six points behind PSG. It's not impossible for Franck Haise's side to force their way back into the picture, but it does look rather unlikely.

  3. PSG Ratings: Defence
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    PSG Ratings: Defence

    Gianluigi Donnarumma (6/10):

    Helpless for Montpellier's goal. Had little else to do.

    Achraf Hakimi (7/10):

    Scored a screamer, but saw it ruled off for an offside in the build up. Did his defensive work diligently and got forward often.

    Marquinhos (6/10):

    One or two shaky moments, but an otherwise agreeable night.

    Sergio Ramos (6/10):

    Started really brightly but was forced off due to an apparent adductor injury. PSG will hope he's not out for too long.

    Nuno Mendes (6/10):

    Back into the side after a few weeks out, and looked short of match sharpness.

  4. Midfield
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    Vitinha (6/10):

    Far from his best after a few good showings. Lots of running, but not much creativity.

    Danilo Pereira (7/10):

    Slotted into the No.6 role in his return to the line up. Was then asked to shift to centre-back after Ramos went off injured. His versatility will be so important if Ramos faces an extended spell out.

    Fabian Ruiz (8/10):

    Grabbed the opener with a tidy finish, assisted the second, and seemed to thrive with more room to operate in. A much improved showing from the former Napoli man.

  5. Attack
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    Kylian Mbappe (5/10):

    Endured a morbid first 10 minutes. Missed one penalty, asked to retake it, then missed again. Got worse when he was subbed off with a hamstring issue. PSG will hope it's not a serious one.

    Carlos Soler (5/10):

    Given the thankless task of filling the "Neymar" role. Is not Neymar, although he emulated the Brazilian's capacity to complain a lot.

    Lionel Messi (7/10):

    Didn't do much, then scored a goal, then did a little bit more. Overall, a successful evening for the World Cup winner.

  6. Subs & Manager
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    Subs & Manager

    Renato Sanches (7/10):

    Unlucky not to start, but made a case for more minutes with a fine showing after Ramos came off.

    Hugo Ekitike (6/10):

    Energetic when on the pitch, glanced a shot just wide of the post. Clearly a big talent.

    Juan Bernat (6/10)

    Brought on for fresh legs

    Warren Zaire-Emery (7/10)

    Another massive step for the teenager, who became PSG's youngest ever Ligue 1 goalscorer with a fine finish to seal things in stoppage time.

    Christophe Galtier (6/10):

    Had a selection problem on his hands with Neymar and others out, and didn't appear to get it right. Carlos Soler was poor in the attacking midfield role, while Nuno Mendes didn't quite look fit. His life was made more complicated by injuries to Mbappe and Ramos, but he managed to get a decent second half out of his team. Will likely be more concerned about the extent of Mbappe's knock than how the three points came about.