France: PSG slips to another home defeat
PARIS (AP) -- Paris Saint-Germain coach Carlo Ancelotti responded to Saturday's embarrassing 2-1 home defeat to Rennes by saying for the first time that the big-spending club was in crisis.
PSG again failed to deliver without Zlatan Ibrahimovic in attack as it slipped to a second straight home defeat in the French league. Worse still, it failed to beat a side which played for most of the second half with nine players.
This time, there was no blaming the referee or protecting the players, as Ancelotti lambasted his underperforming stars.
"I'm very angry. I don't think we showed the right attitude out on the pitch. It's a very difficult time for us,'' Ancelotti said. "Yes. I'm not afraid to say we're in crisis. We have to get out of it quickly.''
Although PSG still tops the league, it has only one point from its last three games.
"Sometimes we play too much as individuals,'' Ancelotti said. "We need to be more attentive, concentrate more, more of everything. In every game we've played at home, we always have problems at the start of games.''
Marseille is behind only on goal difference and has two games in hand, while third-place Saint-Etienne and fifth-place Lyon are just one point behind PSG in third place. Rennes is provisionally in sixth place after its sixth straight win.
None of those clubs has spent anything remotely close to the ?160 million PSG splurged on new players this season, adding to the already massive outlay of around ?106 million last term.
PSG could find itself down in third place after Sunday's matches, when Marseille is away to Bordeaux where it has not won since 1977, and Lyon hosts Reims.
"The problem is with the attitudes. Something has to be changed and we will do it,'' Ancelotti said. "Two defeats in a row at home is not acceptable. We're not a team yet, we will change things.''
Rennes coach Frederic Antonetti was understandably thrilled with his team.
"The players were fantastic, heroic, in extreme conditions,'' Antonetti said. "This is an important victory. People often reproached our lack of character, but tonight we showed that we have some.''
Ibrahimovic was suspended for the match at Parc des Princes after being sent off in a 2-1 loss to Saint-Etienne, also at home.
Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil was red-carded after just 25 minutes with the score at 1-1, and then midfielder Jean II Makoun was sent off in the 51st.
Midfielder Romain Alessandrini continued his habit of scoring spectacular goals when he put the visitors ahead with a superb volley from 20 yards out.
Nene equalized midway through the first half with a clinical finish after being set up by playmaker Javier Pastore, with both players making a statement to Ancelotti after being dropped in recent games. Nene was last season's top scorer with 21 league goals, but has received little explanation for being left out of the starting lineup for more than half the games this term.
Last weekend, PSG drew 1-1 away to defending champion Montpellier after center half Mamadou Sakho was sent off in the ninth minute - prompting a rant from sporting director Leonardo and criticism of the referee from Ancelotti. Both are set to appear before the French Football Federation ethics committee for their comments.
But this time, Rennes was dealt a harsh blow when Costil was sent off for a foul on Jeremy Menez outside the penalty box.
Despite being a man down, Rennes took the lead in the 34th when Feret delightfully curled a free kick around the wall.
Makoun got his marching orders early into the second half. Moments before he was sent off, the Cameroon midfielder saw his header well saved by Salvatore Sirigu as Rennes kept attacking, even with a man less.
But tiredness kicked in and Rennes' players started to flag.
Center backs Thiago Silva and Alex went close with headers and substitute Guillaume Hoarau and Pastore hit the woodwork twice in 10 seconds as PSG desperately chased the equalizer.
Ancelotti brought on another forward in Kevin Gameiro as PSG poured forward. But substitute keeper Cheick N'Diaye held firm as he kept out efforts from Pastore, twice, Gameiro and Alex.
Also, it was: Ajaccio 0, Sochaux 1; Brest 3, Bastia 0; Evian 2, Saint-Etienne 2; Troyes 3, Nancy 3, and Valenciennes 1, Montpellier 1.
Saint-Etienne missed the chance to overtake PSG after throwing away a 2-0 lead, with winger Max-Alain Gradel getting both goals.
Nice faces Toulouse in Sunday's other game.