PARIS, France – Paris Saint-Germain lost star strikers Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe to injuries on Sunday, August 25, as the French champions' problems continued to mount despite a 4-0 thrashing of Toulouse.
Thomas Tuchel's men, who lost at Rennes last time out, have seen the start of their season dominated by the Neymar transfer saga.
The Brazilian was once again left out of the matchday squad at the Parc des Princes amid rumors of a move to Real Madrid or return to Barcelona, and Tuchel saw his strikeforce totally dismantled as Cavani and Mbappe both hobbled off – as did center-back Abdou Diallo.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored a second-half double, but only after coming on as a substitute for the injured Cavani, while Mbappe also departed the scene after appearing to pull up with a hamstring injury following a trademark burst into the box.
"We will wait for the tests," said coach Tuchel. "These are different injuries, in different actions."
"There's not a single explanation, we have to look for all the possible reasons. I'm disappointed because we're talking about that when we've been very strong."
The capital-city giants sit 3 points behind early Ligue 1 pace-setters Rennes, who made it 3 wins from 3 by beating Strasbourg 2-0.
Tuchel responded to last weekend's defeat by making 3 changes to his starting 11, including dropping captain Thiago Silva to the bench.
Mbappe twice came close to settling any early nerves in the first 4 minutes, but was denied both times by Toulouse goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet.
With Neymar looking increasingly likely to be heading to the exit door, PSG's woes deepened when they lost another member of their fabled 'MCN' forward line as Cavani left the pitch in the 14th minute to be replaced by the usually much less potent Choupo-Moting.
Silva was introduced before halftime as Diallo, a close-season signing from Borussia Dortmund, also broke down injured.
The home side started the second period well, though, and it was Choupo-Moting – whose stint at PSG has so far been best known for a shocking miss last season against Strasbourg -–who turned past one defender, span around another, and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.
Visiting left-back Mathieu Goncalves scored a calamitous 55th-minute own goal by slicing a tame, bouncing ball away from Reynet's gloves and into the roof of the net.
A difficult night for PSG got worse when Angel Di Maria, who would be expected to step up in the possible absences of Neymar, Cavani, and Mbappe, saw a penalty comfortably saved by Reynet.
But former Stoke player Choupo-Moting suggested he may be able to shoulder some of the burden, slotting in his second and PSG's third with 15 minutes remaining before Marquinhos' late header added further gloss to the scoreline. – Rappler.com