Mbappe Scores Twice But PSG Slump To First Defeat Of Season

Nice’s Nigerian forward #09 Terem Moffi (C) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and OGC Nice at The Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on September 15, 2023. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

Despite a Kylian Mbappe double, Paris Saint-Germain suffered their first defeat of the Ligue 1 season. Nice won 3-2 at Parc des Princes on Friday, with Terem Moffi scoring twice.

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PSG fell behind less than halfway through the first half as Moffi scored off a bad blunder by Mbappe.

The France striker equalized on the half-hour mark, but Nice’s lead was regained eight minutes later by Gaetan Laborde, and Moffi added another.

Mbappe volleyed home to give the reigning French champions hope but Nice held on.

Luis Enrique’s PSG, who would have usurped Monaco at the top with three points, instead slipped to third in the early table with eight points from five games, one point behind unbeaten Nice.

“Throughout the match they were fresher than us,” said Luis Enrique after his first loss as PSG coach.

“Obviously a defeat hurts, we all have to improve, myself included. But I liked our state of mind.

“Of the three goals, two were deflected. Nice played great football, but I’m not worried and I saw the fans support their team even when they were two goals down.”

Nice, backed by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, are hoping to bounce back this term from a disappointing campaign last season when they could only finish ninth in Ligue 1.

“Everything must be perfect to get a result here, the opponents must not be at their level, and we must give a complete performance,” Nice coach Francesco Farioli said.

“Beyond the tactical aspects, I saw a team of warriors.”

Verratti Farewell

Before the game, the Parc des Princes said goodbye to Marco Verratti, who left PSG after 11 years to join Qatari club Al-Arabi.

Messages from former teammates such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva were shown on the big screen, and Verratti was given a lap of honor around the pitch.

The Italian midfielder appeared 416 times for PSG, earning nine Ligue 1 titles and six French Cups but failing to assist the club win its first Champions League crown.

Nice dimmed the celebratory atmosphere by taking a shocking lead in the 21st minute as PSG made mistakes at the back.

Mbappe gained possession deep within his own half but soon gave it up in a dangerous spot, and the ball rebounded beautifully for Moffi, whose shot took a large deflection off Milan Skriniar and looped into the net.

Khephren Thuram’s effort was superbly stopped by PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, allowing the visitors to extend their lead.

Mbappe made an impression at the right end of the pitch, scoring his sixth league goal in four appearances this season, blasting a powerful drive from Achraf Hakimi’s cut-back beyond Nice goalie Marcin Bulka’s bad attempted save.

PSG began to dominate but nearly fell behind at halftime when Jordan Lotomba fired a wonderful opportunity over the bar with the final kick of the first half.

Nice’s lead was restored in the 53rd minute, though, when Moffi sent in Laborde, who slotted past Donnarumma.

Paris continued to waste chances at the back, and Moffi effectively ended the game with 21 minutes remaining.

The PSG defense backed off the Nigerian attacker, who took his time before finishing low into the bottom corner from outside the box.

Mbappe acrobatically volleyed into the far corner following brilliant work from replacement Randal Kolo Muani on his debut, but Nice held on for the win.

PSG will now have to elevate their game against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group stage on Tuesday.

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