Paris St. Germain did not necessarily deserve to win 2:0 against the strong newcomers Le Havre and distanced themselves from the competition. Alongside Kylian Mbappé, one goalkeeper was in the spotlight
The already tricky away game could not have started much worse for PSG: Le Havre started with enormous confidence – Soler had to save on the line against Lloris (7th) – while Luis Enrique, who wanted to rest a few players, had to bring on six-man Ugarte for the injured Fabian after just eight minutes. Before Donnarumma was sent off for a rude tackle outside his penalty area (10).
The courageous newly promoted side played PSG to the wall at times in this opening phase, in which the champions’ only opposition was Mbappé. The exceptional striker repeatedly tried things on his own initiative, for example allowing Dembelé to send him on his way with precision. This time he failed to beat keeper Desmes with his angled shot (20′), but three minutes later he scored a dry post goal to give PSG the lead.
Mbappé turned the game on its head with his incredible individual class, while his team-mates gradually got to grips with their defensive collective. All of a sudden, Le Havre were rattled. The newly promoted side, who missed a great chance to equalize through the young Casimir (41′), could even have doubled their deficit at the break. However, Mbappé was just offside before his supposed second goal (32′).
With one man more, the home side also started the second period more actively, with PSG sometimes playing a wait-and-see game and sometimes making offensive pinpricks to maintain their narrow lead. The champions were often compact at the back – and were able to rely on Donnarumma’s substitute Tenas: The Spaniard made strong saves from Kechta’s direct shot (51′) and from a cross deflected by Danilo (64′).
Alioui desperate – Vitinha in luck
In the meantime, Paris’ individual class almost struck again, but Dembelé only hit the far post (60′). A 2-0 would not have been as deserved as a 1-1, but Bayo should have finished off a promising counter-attacking chance better (58′) and substitute Alioui should not have let himself be straddled by Danilo (67′). The clock was ticking for PSG.
The champions were on the ropes in the closing stages. The capital side had Le Havre’s incompetence and their backline Tenas to thank for the fact that Alioui (78, 78), Joujou (81, 83) and Bayo (85) were simply not rewarded for the best chances. In the end, Paris, who played 90 minutes including stoppage time with a deficit, held on to their lead, partly because Vitinha deflected home the winner (89′).
So it wasn’t necessarily the better team that won 2-0 in the end, who are now four points clear at the top of the table after Nice’s slip-up at Nantes.