Marquinhos scored twice and Angel Di Maria grabbed another as Paris Saint-Germain made hard work of their Ligue 1 clash with Saint-Etienne on Sunday, eventually securing a 3-1 victory.
Neymar had a tap-in disallowed for offside early on before the hosts hit the lead, with Denis Bouanga following in from a rebound to rattle a strike past Gianluigi Donnarumma.
A rather embarrassing first half for PSG ended with a boost when Timothee Kolodziejczak was sent off for bringing Kylian Mbappe down as the Frenchman looked to scamper through on goal.
The visitors equalised straight from the resulting free kick, Marquinhos rising highest to flick in Lionel Messi’s delivery.
Despite their player advantage, PSG struggled to capitalise and missed good chances before Messi finally slid through Di Maria who whacked in their second.
It was a pretty uninspired performance from the French giants but they still popped some gloss onto the scoreline late on when Marquinhos got his second, again heading in from Messi’s cross.
PSG are now 14 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, while Saint-Etienne are rooted to the bottom of the table.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) – 5/10 – Quite a tame save rebounded back to Bouanga to score. Only had a handful of stops to make.
Achraf Hakimi (RB) – 6/10 – Got back well to put off Bouanga when the winger looked well set to shoot.
Marquinhos (CB) – 7/10 – Arched his neck well to nod in the equaliser. Got isolated when one on one, twice being rounded by Bouanga and having to be bailed out by his teammates. Nice header late on to round off the scoring.
Sergio Ramos (CB) – 5/10 – Finally made his first start for PSG. Looked a bit stunned by the intensity of the fixture.
Bernat (LB) – 6/10 – Booked for halting a breakaway. Wasn’t a massive threat going forward.
Danilo Pereira (CM) – 6/10 – Made a few vital blocks in his box. Safe and steady.
Idrissa Gana Gueye (CM) – 7/10 – Constantly mopped up loose possession and used the ball well. Made a total of nine recoveries before being subbed off.
Lionel Messi (AM) – 8/10 – Drifted in a lovely free kick for Marquinhos to equalise. Somehow sent a shot from the middle of the box wide. Squeezed through a delightful ball for Di Maria to finish and later teed up Marquinhos for another. Ended up with three assists but was also pretty wasteful with the ball at times.
Angel Di Maria (RW) – 7/10 – Set himself well to slam in PSG’s second, showing the composure his teammates failed to throughout the game.
Kylian Mbappe (ST) – 6/10 – Saw a golden opportunity slip by as he shot straight at Etienne Green when clean through on goal. Might have got a couple of goals on another day.
Neymar (LW) – 6/10 – Had an early goal chalked off for offside. Quieter afternoon with PSG’s other stars taking the headlines. Took a whack to the ankle and had to be stretchered off the field.
Leandro Paredes (CM) – 5/10
Eric Ebembe (LW) – 5/10