Five-time defending Coupe de la Ligue champions Paris Saint-Germain are out after an improbable 2-1 defeat to Guingamp at Parc des Princes on Wednesday — their first domestic cup loss since January 2014.
Neymar had given Thomas Tuchel’s men the lead with a rare headed goal on 63 minutes, moments after Marcus Thuram had missed a first penalty for the visitors. Incredibly, PSG contrived to concede two more spot kicks in the final 10 minutes, and both were punished, first by Yeni Ngbakoto and then Thuram, as Les Parisiens‘ domestic cup dominance ended at 49 consecutive wins.
As far as the match is concerned, none — that would have largely been the case had PSG won as it was a very poor performance. However, the biggest potential positive to take from the result is that Tuchel now has tangible proof that he needs at least one new signing this month as he continues to long for a defensive midfielder.
First of all, the penalties. Three in a single match? Debatable or not, such a total over 90 minutes — let alone 45 — is unacceptable for a team like PSG, and the German tactician will have made that clear to his players. Second, the first-half showing was diabolical, and although the second was a bit better and there was at least some urgency, it was still not good enough overall. Last, once the capital outfit did start creating chances, they were wasteful, and they paid the penalty — literally — for that profligacy.
Manager rating out of 10
6 — Tuchel could only watch on in horror as his team threw away a one-goal lead via a series of sloppy defensive errors — his mid-match changes actually improved the hosts’ performance and made a positive result a possibility.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 6 — Faced three penalties and nearly kept the last one out, while he also made a smart save early in the second half to keep Guingamp out.
DF Thomas Meunier, 4 — Conceded the first penalty and although he assisted Neymar’s goal with a good cross, he was far from at his best.
DF Thiago Silva, 5 — Not individually at fault, but he was still unable to keep PSG’s back line from falling apart and conceding three penalties in a single half.
DF Thilo Kehrer, 3 — His nasty habit of conceding penalties continues — he gave away the third and decisive spot kick, which now makes a total of four since he signed from Schalke last summer.
DF Juan Bernat, 4 — Largely solid but unspectacular, he was penalised for the second penalty, which pulled Guingamp level — even if it was debatable.
MF Angel Di Maria, 4 — Rusty and not involved enough during the first half, it was no surprise that he was withdrawn at half-time.
MF Marquinhos, 6 — Logically sacrificed at the break to give PSG greater creativity after the driest of opening halves.
MF Julian Draxler, 4 — Not involved enough to truly influence the game, he could easily have been withdrawn had Tuchel not opted to make two half-time changes.
MF Moussa Diaby, 5 — Strangely, he seems to fare better as an impact substitute than a starter. That said, almost all of the starting XI were below par, so it was hardly the ideal side to have been included in and he did what he could.
FW Kylian Mbappe, 4 — Oddly subdued, Guingamp’s ultra-defensive tactical setup at the start did not help, but it worked to perfection for coach Jocelyn Gourvennec. Also had a penalty shout turned down and went close a few times.
FW Neymar, 6 — Scored a rare headed goal to give PSG the lead but talked himself into a booking late on. Invested, as has often been the case this season, but he cannot do everything alone and it felt at times like he was the only one capable of winning the game for the hosts.
FW Edinson Cavani, 4 — Sent on for the second half, he was booked late on and guilty of some woeful finishing, so his misses proved costly. That said, his direct approach almost paid immediate dividends with a headed effort moments after being introduced.
MF Marco Verratti, 6 — Like Cavani, he made his return to action for the second 45 and looked a bit off the pace at times, but he was still much better than many of his teammates and was cautioned late on as tempers threatened to boil over.
MF Dani Alves, N/R — Given the final quarter of an hour, he came on just in time to watch the defence capitulate with a view from midfield.