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Florian Balogun: No shot on target, no goal for Nigeria prospect as Reims hold PSG in Ligue 1

08:14 BST 09/10/2022
Folarin Balogun
Nigeria wonderkid Florian Balogun had a quiet game while Achraf Hakimi only got two minutes as Reims held Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Balogun fires blanks as Reims draw with 10-man PSG
  • Nigeria prospect had a few chances but fluffed his lines
  • Reims remain 14th on the table, PSG fail to extend lead

WHAT HAPPENED? Balogun played 90 minutes but did not manage a single shot on target against PSG who were reduced to 10 men after 41 minutes following a second yellow card to Sergio Ramos over dissent.

The Nigeria prospect had one shot off target and two blocked while managing 27 touches of the ball despite playing against 10 men for over 50 minutes. With Reims launching attacks on PSG’s goal after the sending-off, Balogun only managed two key passes and only made one successful dribble attempt.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Reims were only the second team to deny PSG a win this season but had weathered a storm before Ramos was sent off after Kylian Mbappe, Pablo Sarabia and Carlos Soler all tested goalkeeper Yehvann Diouf.

It is after the sending-off that Balogun had his first attempt which came in the 45th minute and he had to wait until the 77th minute when his strike was blocked after he had tried to finish from outside the box.

The 21-year-old then had a glorious opportunity to give Reims the lead, and maybe the win, 10 minutes later. He rose highest to meet a cross but unleashed a poor header from near the penalty spot with the ball floating over the crossbar.

A product of the Arsenal academy, Balogun is on loan at Reims and scored his sixth goal of the season in a 2-2 draw over Troyes last Sunday. That made him the only player born in the 21st century to reach six goals among Europe’s top five leagues this season.

ALL EYES ON: Having started life in France well, eyes were on Balogun as Reims welcomed the star-studded PSG that had the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar starting on the bench.

THE VERDICT: Still only 21, the forward who has represented England and the United States at youth level, still has a lot to learn and proved once more that he is a work in progress by some poor decision-making in key moments against the French champions.

WHAT NEXT FOR BALOGUN? Reims visit Lorient in their next match on Saturday and this could be the perfect opponent for Balogun to return to scoring ways given he already has goals against Clermont Foot, Strasbourg, Angers, Lens and Troyes.