More misery for Lionel Messi! PSG winners and losers as star storms down the tunnel following home loss to Rennes

Lionel Messi PSG 2022-23 HIC 16:9
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The Argentine appears to have checked out mentally, making a hasty exit after a terrible performance at the Parc des Princes

Lionel Messi stormed off the pitch after Paris Saint-Germain's 2-0 loss to Rennes on Sunday. Petulant that his actions were, it's easy to see why he might be peeved.

His PSG side had just been thoroughly beaten by a theoretically inferior opponent, turning in a lifeless showing against a side 16 points behind them in Ligue 1.

And the Parisians never really got into the game. Kylian Mbappe had some early opportunities early, but veteran goalie Steve Mandanda twice equaled his efforts.

And Rennes capitalised on PSG's inability to find the back of the net. It was a simple thing that undid PSG's backline.

Karl Toko Ekambi timed his run well, snatched onto a lofted pass and fired his shot across a helpless Gianluigi Donnarumma.

PSG were then booed off at half-time. And the jeers rang again in the second half.

This time, it was Arnaud Kalimuendo doing the damage, finishing from close range into an open net as PSG's back five collapsed.

PSG showed some fight after, with some attacking substitutions giving the league 1 leaders some legs up front. But Rennes were more than comfortable defending their advantage, and enjoyed a moment or two on the break, as well.

PSG supporters made their disgust known after the game but Messi was already long gone by that time.

GOAL breaks down the winners & losers from Parc des Princes...

  1. WINNER: Karl Toko Ekambi
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    WINNER: Karl Toko Ekambi

    There's life in those old legs yet.

    Ekambi has delivered goals wherever he's gone, and scored a big one for Rennes here.

    He took his goal wonderfully, too, cushioning a long ball, taking a touch out of his feet, and finishing emphatically. It was a confident thing, the sign of a striker totally in control of the passage of play.

    But his impact expanded beyond the ball hitting the back of the net. Ekmabi was the true definition of a handful on Sunday, making a litany of runs to stretch an inexperienced PSG back three. He tallied four shots and curled one narrowly wide that would have almost definitely completed a brace.

    Naturally a left-winger, Rennes have asked him to shift into a more central role. And against PSG, he showed just how impactful he can be through the middle.

  2. LOSER: Lionel Messi
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    LOSER: Lionel Messi

    Maybe his head is already in Argentina. The World Cup winner has been picked once again to line up for the national team, and he played like a footballer who's mentally in Ezeiza with his Argentina team-mates.

    Messi was uncharacteristically poor here. He lost the ball a handful of times within the first 15 minutes, and only really seemed interested in passing to Mbappe.

    His off-ball work, or lack thereof, can perhaps be forgiven at this point. His ageing legs do, indeed, need to be given something of a respite. However, there were times here when Messi refused to move a few yards to compete for a 50/50.

    The reality is PSG can now get dragged into a title race. Their nine-point lead can shrink to seven if Marseille win on Sunday night. In such trying times, you need your big names to step up. Messi doesn't look like he wants to.

    It all felt a bit sad by the end, with Messi making a hasty exit when the full-time whistle blew. Next stop Buenos Aires.

  3. WINNER: Steve Mandanda
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    WINNER: Steve Mandanda

    That Steve Mandanda? The one you might perhaps be unaware is still kicking – and handling – a football?

    He was magnificent for Rennes. At 37 years of age, Mandanda played like the keeper that was pushing for a French national team spot some years ago. He tallied eight saves, including a duo of sublime stops from Mbappe. His distribution was impressive, too, as Mandanda always looked to start a Rennes counter-attack.

    Rennes picked him up on a free in July, and so far it's been an excellent piece of business. Mandanda's save percentage is above his career average, and he looks far more mobile than his date of birth might suggest.

    He's not a long-term solution, but it would be lovely to see the veteran push for Champions League football.

  4. LOSER: Kim Kardashian
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    LOSER: Kim Kardashian

    Football might have just discovered its latest celebrity curse. Kardashian has been to two games in three days, and both sides have lost.

    She saw Arsenal fall to Sporting CP on penalties on Thursday night. And she was in the stands at the Parc des Prince on Sunday, semi-watching as PSG turned in one of their worst performances of the year.

    Other clubs might just hope she doesn't choose them as her next victim.

  5. WINNER: The title race
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    WINNER: The title race

    The concept of a Ligue 1 title race is sort of thrown around every year. It's a familiar pattern at this point. PSG typically pull away, then perhaps drop points once or twice, while a competitor – usually Marseille, Monaco, lens or Lille – enjoy a run of form. PSG then turn it on, and leave their rivals in the dust.

    That's happened a few times this season already. But in every instance, the Parisians have been at full strength, their losses feeling more like freak accidents than season-definers.

    Now, it might just be different. Yes, PSG were down two starting centre-backs, but if this is the best attack they can muster, they are vulnerable.

    More than anything, it's a glimmer of hope for Marseille, who will have to string together a near-perfect run of results to close a 10-point gap. But with PSG looking this dire, it might not be as far-fetched as the maths suggests.

  6. LOSER: Christophe Galtier
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    LOSER: Christophe Galtier

    He's not helping himself much at this point, is he?

    Galtier's job was already going to be difficult to save. And after today's result, it truly feels like a lost cause. The Frenchman can be criticised for numerous errors. He has failed to get the best out of Messi. His in-game substitutions are puzzling.

    But the real issue has been his lack of tactical conviction. The Parisians have never settled on one formation, with the manager experimenting with numerous systems.

    And while each one certainly has its positives, he's never found the right formation to get the best out of everyone.

    Granted, he's working with an injured squad and has to deal with some big egos. But it's usually a manager's job to figure that all out – especially when he's deemed good enough to coach one of the world's biggest clubs.