News Matches

Mbappe BENCHED but Messi & Neymar both start for PSG in Ligue 1 clash with Rennes

12:46 AM IST 16/01/23
Lionel Messi Neymar 2022-23
Lionel Messi and Neymar both featured in Paris Saint-Germain's starting line-up to take on Rennes on Sunday, but there was no room for Kylian Mbappe.
  • Messi and Neymar both started
  • Mbappe featured on bench alongside Hakimi
  • Pair only returned to training on Thursday

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi and Neymar featured in a front-line alongside youngster Hugo Ekitike, with Mbappe having to settle for a space on the bench. The 23-year-old only returned to training on Thursday after taking a break following his World Cup exploits with France, and it is clear that manager Christophe Galtier feels Sunday's match has come too soon for the forward.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mbappe had returned back for PSG's first two league games after the international break, but Galtier granted both him and full-back Achraf Hakimi an extended rest period, with the latter also featuring on the Parisiens' bench against Rennes. The Frenchman's omission from the starting line-up means fans will have to wait for the first Messi-Neymar-Mbappe frontline since the World Cup, although it is likely that Mbappe will make an impact at some point from the bench.


WHAT NEXT FOR PSG? Galtier's side will pull six points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with a win on Sunday, after which they travel to Saudi Arabia for a long-anticipated friendly against Cristiano Ronaldo and Co.