Nantes goalkeeper Alban Lafont becomes just the 13th player (and only the THIRD goalkeeper) to claim rare 10/10 display in L’Equipe’s player ratings after stunning performance to keep PSG at bay in stunning 3-1 victory
- Nantes faced second half onslaught from PSG after going 3-0 up in first period
- But Alban Lafont saved a Neymar penalty and also denied Kylian Mbappe
- Inspired display earned him rare accolade of a 10/10 rating from the French daily
- Meanwhile, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Mbappe only scored a collective 12
Alban Lafont has become the first goalkeeper since the 1990s to claim a 10/10 display in L’Equipe’s highly regarded player ratings following a stunning performance in a 3-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain.
The French side inflicted only the second league defeat on Mauricio Pochettino’s side all season, but had their keeper to thank for an inspired showing to keep the French runaway league leaders largely at bay.
As well as saving a penalty, albeit a terrible attempt from Neymar, the 23-year-old was also on hand to deny Kylian Mbappe in a one-on-one during a second half onslaught from PSG.
Nantes keeper Alban Lafont celebrates with fans after inspiring his side to a win over PSG
The keeper was superb in largely keeping the French league leaders at bay in the second half
French publication L’Equipe are notoriously picky when it comes to player performances and do not give high marks to players too easily – often severely punishing players with dreadfully low scores if they do not meet par.
But they could find no fault with Lafont, despite him conceding early in the second half after Neymar blasted helplessly past the keeper 90 seconds into the second period following an excellent assist by Lionel Messi.
Nantes had already gone 3-0 up following an astonishing first half. Randal Kolo Muani put Nantes ahead within four minutes after a storming run down the left wing by Moses Simon, and they were 2-0 up some 12 minutes later when teenager Quentin Merlin scored his first goal for his hometown club with a rasping left-footed shot.
Nantes secured a stunning 3-1 win, with L’Equipe describing the victory as ‘yellow magic’
Lafont dives low to make a crucial save to deny Kylian Mbappe from point blank range
Lafont’s perfect display was in contrast to the collective 12 from PSG’s three-man attack
Nantes defender Dennis Appiah was sent off two minutes before the break for tripping Kylian Mbappe as he headed goalwards. But the referee was asked to review his decision by the VAR and changed it to a yellow card when replays showed the clash was not as cynical as first presumed.
VAR then intervened again in stoppage time before the break when Georginio Wijnaldum handled the ball in his own penalty box, handing Nantes a spot kick which Ludovic Blas converted for a stunning halftime lead.
But despite dominating the ball in the second half, with over 70 per cent of the play overall, PSG could find no avenue back into the game.
L’Equipe’s front page led with the headline ‘yellow magic’ following the stunning all-round performance from the home side.
L’EQUIPE’S ALL-TIME PERFECT 10s
1. Franck Sauzee (France v Greece, 1988)
2. Bruno Martini (France v Greece, 1988)
3. Oleg Salenko (Russia v Cameroon, 1994)
4. Lars Windfeld (Aarhus v Nantes, 1997)
5. Lionel Messi (Barcelona v Arsenal, 2010) (Barcelona v Bayer Leverkusen, 2012)
6. Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, 2013)
7. Carlos Eduardo (Nice v Guingamp, 2014)
8. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain v Dijon, 2018)
9. Dusan Tadic (Ajax v Real Madrid, 2019)
10. Lucas Moura (Tottenham v Ajax, 2019)
11. Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich v Tottenham, 2019)
12. Kylian Mbappe (France v Khazakstan, 2021)
13. Alban Lafont (Nantes v Paris Saint-Germain, 2021)
To underline how tough it is to get high marks from L’Equipe, PSG’s front three picked up just 12 marks between them.
Neymar’s goal was still only good enough for a 5/10 – although his penalty howler was always going to go against him, but Messi’s superb assist still couldn’t lift him above a 4/10, while an off display from Mbappe – the most recent player before Lafont to get a 10/10 – was only good enough for 3/10.
Still none of PSG’s feared attacking trio were considered even the worst player on the pitch, with former Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum given a 2/10 having conceded a first half penalty in an all-round poor display.
The win saw Nantes leap from 10th to fifth in the Ligue 1 standings as they push for a spot in next season´s European club competition, while PSG still hold a comfortable 13-point gap over Marseille at the summit having played an extra game.