March 06, (THEWILL) – Mauricio Pochettino’s French League-leading side Paris Saint-Germain were defeated 1-0 at the Allianz Riviera by a late Andy Delort goal as the absence of Kylian Mbappe saw Les Parisiens misfiring in their table-topping Ligue 1 meeting with Nice.
In Saturday’s match, Christophe Galtier’s hosts secured a thrilling late victory over the league leaders to climb into second place, as their opponents struggled to deliver without Mbappe’s incisiveness leading their ranks.
The French forward, who tops Ligue 1 in combined goals and assists this season, was unable to play because he was serving a one-match suspension following his yellow card against Nantes last month.
It would have been difficult to argue that they deserved a share of the profits with only two shots on target all night, as both Lionel Messi and Neymar failed to fill the void created by Mbappe’s absence.
Khephren Thuram was unable to convert a lovely flat pass from six yards out in the second half for the hosts, while Thilo Kehrer sent a soft header straight to Walter Benitez off a Neymar free-kick.
PSG looked like they would be able to snare a late winner after an enthralling Angel Di Maria break – but they were on the wrong end of the scoreboard as Delort delivered into the top-right corner in the 88th minute.
The visitors avoided a late penalty call from VAR after a foul on Jordan Lotomba in stoppage time, but it was too late to stop the damage, and they were condemned to their second loss in three league games.
Though PSG are still 13 points clear of their rivals at the top of the table, Les Parisiens will need to rekindle their fire in time for their UEFA Champions League showdown with Real Madrid next week. Fortunately, Mbappe will be back to sharpen the thrust of their attack.