Against all odds, Rennes have done it. They have beaten Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final, ending the 4-year dominance in the competition of the club from the capital. Rennes achieved this after winning the tie on penalties, in a game that was nothing short of dramatic.
Clear favorites to win the cup final, PSG looked to have sealed the result in the first twenty minutes of the game, as they raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from the Brazilian duo of Dani Alves and Neymar. At this point, a fifth consecutive cup win seemed inevitable, with the recently crowned champions of France looking for their second piece of silverware. But Rennes were given hope five minutes before the half-time break, as a Kimpembe own-goal halved the deficit.
Throughout the game, PSG asserted their dominance, having two-thirds of the overall possession, landing 12 shots on target out of 20 attempted. But with the game still at 1-2, Rennes were still in it. Their equalizer came with a quarter of the game left to play thanks to a goal from Edson Andre Sitoe.
The game stayed at 2-2 at full time, which meant an additional 30 minutes and potentially, penalties. The score did not change in that time, but the number of players involved did. Kylian Mbappe was shown a straight red two minutes before the end of extra-time, for his horror challenge on Da Silva.
The game went to penalties and Rennes and PSG converted all their initial 5 spot-kicks. PSG’s Nkunku missed his spot-kick as Rennes became cup winners, winning 6-5 on penalties after coming back from 2-0 down. But the drama didn’t end there, as Neymar was involved in an incident after the game.
As he was going up to collect his runners-up medal, Neymar got into an altercation with a fan who was filming the players coming up. The two exchanged a few words and Neymar then appeared to punch the man in the face before heading up the stairs.
The Coupe de France 2018-19 cup final was a memorable one for both clubs, but for contrasting reasons. The game had it all, goals, cards, penalties and drama off the pitch. In a game marred with violence, what action will be taken against Neymar and Mbappe for their moments of madness?