After dropping their first points of the season in the draw with Monaco in Paris at the weekend, PSG were again tested by a well-organised Ligue 1 side as the champions travelled to Toulouse.
TFC’s high and aggressive press caused PSG many an issue in the opening half an hour and the hosts might have gone ahead but Marco Verratti and Neymar slowly exerted their influence on the midfield as PSG eventually took control. Neymar’s opener just before half time had been coming and PSG could have won by a lot more had Maxime Dupe not enjoyed the game of his life in the Toulouse goal.
TOULOUSE – 0
Maxime Dupe, 9 – Made one lightning save at his near post early on from Mbappé and two sharp fists from Messi in the first half as well as one superb snap save at close range from Mbappé. His spectacular flying save from a Messi free-kick just after the break was one of many highlights as a part of a host of brilliant second half saves – most notably from Ekitike and Mbappé when one-on-one.
Anthony Rouault, 6
Rasmus Nicolaisen, 7 – Handled Mbappé smartly and made several sharp, and often last-ditch, interventions to halt the PSG striker and was unlucky to subbed with an injury at half time. Toulouse missed him in the second half.
Moussa Diarra, 6
Mikkel Desler, 6
Oliver Zandén, 5
Stijn Spierings, 6
Branco van den Boomen, 6
Rafael Ratão, 7 – Although a little erratic in his deliveries at times, his pace and intensity was a nuisance for the lumbering Danilo both on the counter and when Toulouse pressed high. He was one of few TFC players to maintain his level into the second half and was unlucky not to create a goal.
Zakaria Aboukhlal, 6
Thijs Dallinga, 5 – Sporadically a real threat as a crafty striker with astute movement, and he might have scored twice in the opening ten minutes but he faded from view after the opening exchanges overall.
Others: Costa 6, Sylla 5, Chaïbi 5, Onaiwu 6, Dejaegere 5.
PSG – 2 (Neymar 37, Mbappé 50, Bernat 90)
Gianluigi Donnarumma, 5
Sergio Ramos, 4
Nordi Mukiele, 5
Nuno Mendes, 5
Marco Verratti, 7 – They key figure in turning the game in PSG’s favour after a hectic opening half an hour. His passing controlled proceedings and he often set the front three away with some superb through balls that brilliantly picked apart a stoic TFC defence.
Lionel Messi, 6 – It was his deft through ball that assisted Neymar’s opener and he was party to some fluid interplay amongst the front three. He was unlucky not to score with Dupe also thwarting him two snap curling efforts before the break. Coasted a little after the break and was withdrawn early.
Neymar, 7 – Neatly tucked home the opener while his new-found intensity in and around the box, as well as some occasionally unplayable skill and vision, were pivotal in opening up a dogged TFC side who defended with aggression and hunger. The Neymar of this season might as well be a different player to the Neymar of last season, such has been his improvement.
Kylian Mbappé, 6 – His speed and sharp change of direction, plus some fluid link up play with Neymar and Messi, were joyous on occasion but he was often ably shutdown during the first half by TFC and Nicolaisen in particular. However, he might have scored more than just the once in the second half with Dupe making a string of superb saves.
Others: Sanches 4, Ekitike 5, Bernat 6, Hakimi 5.
Ligue 1 22/23, Round 5, 31/8/22