LONDON. — Lionel Messi didn’t only lose his first French Ligue 1 game on Sunday.
Paris Saint-Germain, powered by the famed striking partnership, which also features Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, failed to even manage a shot on target.
On a wild European football weekend, Bayern Munich crashed to a rare home Bundesliga loss, Real Madrid went down at Espanyol and Zenit Saint Petersburg were beaten by Sochi.
English Premiership newboys, Brentford, continued their Cinderella start to the campaign with an impressive 2-1 away with over West Ham, and Dutch powerhouse, Ajax Amsterdam were beaten 0-1 by Utrecht.
If a punter had gambled £10 on Rennes beating PSG, Utrecht beating Ajax Amsterdam, Brentford beating West Ham, Espanyol beating Real Madrid and Sochi beating Zenit, he or she would have picked £129 675 at bookmakers Bet365.
Bayern’s 1-2 loss handed Frankfurt their first victory in Munich, for more than two decades, and it was the Bavarian giants’ first defeat of the season.
Julian Nagelsmann also suffered his first defeat, as Bayern Munich coach, on Sunday after Filip Kostic drilled a low shot past Manuel Neuer, seven minutes from time, to hand Frankfurt a memorable victory.
“It always hurts to lose, but this defeat hurts a bit more because it was avoidable,” Nagelsmann told DAZN broadcaster.
“We were punished today for not taking our chances.”
Even the prolific Robert Lewandowski failed to find the target for the champions.
Real Madrid’s 2-1 LaLiga defeat at Espanyol on Sunday was the Spanish league leaders’ worst game this season, according to their coach, Carlo Ancelotti.
Real’s stuttering form continued as they suffered a second consecutive loss in all competitions following Wednesday’s Champions League defeat by Moldovan minnows Sheriff.
Ancelotti’s side are now without a win in three games in all competitions but remain top of the LaLiga table on 17 points, ahead of city rivals Atletico Madrid, on goal difference.
“We played badly today. We started the game with a plan for both defence and attack which was very well set out but we weren’t able to keep calm and stick to it for long enough,” said Ancelotti.
“I don’t think our positioning on the pitch was good, either with and without the ball, and I have to be honest, I do think it’s the worst game since I came back to the club as coach.
“It’s very good to play right after losing a game but now it’s tough because we have to reflect on this over the international break. I don’t think it will affect our attitude. We will push forward.”
Ajax coach, Erik ten Hag, was critical of his players on Sunday after the 0-1 defeat at the hands of Utrecht.
“We were not ‘on’ from the first minute. That means 100 percent pace on the mat and focus. That was clearly not there, then you are behind the facts,” he said.
“FC Utrecht was very good, compact. But it is up to us to create space. Our creatives just didn’t quite have it.
‘‘This is bitter, this is coming.
‘‘You get this kind of ticking during the season. We will adopt a different mentality have to lay the day.’’
His PSG counterpart, Mauricio Pochettino, was also left struggling for answers after his All-Star strikeforce, with Messi, Meymar and Mbappe, fired blanks as his team failed to register even a single shot on target.
“We are sad because we played very well for 25-30 minutes,” the PSG boss told his post-match press conference. “We did not manage to score the chances we created.
‘‘We are unhappy but we must continue to work.
“Of course, we are coming out of a difficult period physically. We have to get over it all. After this negative result, we must make a self-criticism.
‘‘We cannot be satisfied, but there are also some positive things to keep. We will try to find the right way to play, the right balance.”
It was Messi’s first loss as a PSG player as they lost 0-2 at Rennes on Sunday.
Rennes took the lead, just before the interval, via a Gaetan Laborde volley before Flavien Tate doubled the home side’s advantage whole Mbappe saw a goal ruled out for offside, later in the second half.
PSG are still top of Ligue 1, having won their previous eight games, and sit six points clear of second-placed Lens.
Neymar was pulled out later in the second half.
Kylian has revealed he asked to leave PSG in July amid interest from Real Madrid.
Madrid are reported to have had three bids turned down for the France international in July and August.
“I asked to leave,” he told RMC Sport. “From the moment where I did not want to extend, I wanted for the club to receive a transfer fee so that they could bring in a quality replacement.
“This club has given me a lot. I have always been happy across the four years I have had here, and I still am. I said it early enough so that the club could react.
“I wanted everyone to come out of this stronger, that we leave hand in hand, to make a good deal and I respected that. I said, if you don’t want me to go, I will stay.” — AP/First Post/Metro/Reuters