No Neymar, no problem? No, problem.
Stade Rennes continued to trouble Paris Saint-Germain with a 2-1 comeback win over the defending champions. The visitors struck first as Edinson Cavani pounced on a miserable back-pass from Damien da Silva that left goalkeeper Romain Salin caught out, putting PSG up 1-0 on 36 minutes.
That lead would not last long though as Stade Rennes, who beat PSG in the Coupe de France final at the end of last season and gave them a battle in the in the Trophee de Champions two weeks ago, would bracket halftime with a pair of goals that would win the match.
The first came in the 44th minute as M’Baye Niang rifled a vicious turn-and-shoot into the back of the net to level the score on the stroke of halftime. Not three minutes after the break, a chipped ball into the box found the head of Romain del Castillo who beat Thomas Meunier to the delivery for a headed finish and a 2-1 lead.
Without Neymar, who was left out of the squad for the second match due to uncertainty surrounding his transfer status, PSG was held to just four shots on target as Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappe struggled to create chances. PSG completed just six of 23 passes inside the penalty area, including a 1-for-13 performance by the wide duo of Di Maria and Mbappe. French publication L’Equpie awarded both players a “3” for the match in their famously harsh player ratings.
Mbappe and Di Maria, along with Julian Draxler who also turned in a miserable performance, were locked down in part thanks to the fabulous performance of 16-year-old Eduardo Camavinga who got the only “8” handed out by L’Equpie. The young Frenchman put himself on the map with a stunning performance in defensive midfield, completing 40 of 41 passes and assisting the winning goal.
With Philippe Coutinho completing his loan move to Bayern Munich, it’s possible that Neymar finds an opening at his old club Barcelona, but PSG has so far stood firm on wanting the same $246 million they paid for the Brazilian in return for any late swoop. The transfer window closes September 2 for both La Liga and Ligue 1, so any deal would have to be completed by then or Neymar will end up returning to Parc des Princes whether he likes it or not.