Lionel Messi suffered his first defeat as a Paris Saint-Germain player on Sunday as their perfect start to the Ligue 1 season ended with a 2-0 loss at Rennes while Marseille slumped to a loss on the day they mourned the death of controversial former president Bernard Tapie.
Messi smacked the crossbar with a free-kick in the first half at Roazhon Park before Gaetan Laborde volleyed Rennes ahead just before the break with his league-leading sixth goal.
Flavien Tait struck less than 20 seconds after half-time to double the lead, with Kylian Mbappe seeing a goal ruled out for offside as Rennes snapped PSG’s eight-match winning run in the league this term.
“We didn’t start the match well but then we played the best 25-30 minutes of the season. It’s a shame we didn’t score. We conceded two goals that were hard to take,” said PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino.
PSG lost in the league for the first time since April, when they were beaten 1-0 at home by last season’s eventual champions Lille.
Messi lined up alongside Neymar, Mbappe and Angel Di Maria for just the second match, making only his second league start for PSG after missing the past two Ligue 1 games with a knee injury.
Gianluigi Donnarumma again got the nod ahead of Keylor Navas in goal, having kept a clean sheet midweek in PSG’s Champions League win over Manchester City.
Looking to keep pace with the team that won its opening 14 games under Thomas Tuchel in 2018, PSG created a series of chances midway through the first half — all of which went to waste.
Neymar skied horribly after the ball broke kindly to the Brazilian inside the Rennes area and Mbappe was guilty of another glaring miss when he scooped over after getting in behind the home defence.
Messi, who bagged a spectacular first goal for PSG against City on Tuesday, nearly got off the mark in Ligue 1 but watched his curling free-kick from 25 yards clatter the bar on the half-hour.
PSG paid the price for their missed opportunities on the stroke of half-time.