New PSG recruit Julian Draxler in superb form in Rennes victory
A Julian Draxler-inspired Paris Saint-Germain thumped Rennes 4-0 in the Coupe de France round of 32, with Lucas Moura and Hatem Ben Arfa also getting in on the act.
Draxler continues to impress after his January move from VfL Wolfsburg. The Germany international scored two very well-taken goals to take his tally to four goals from his first five appearances with the French champions.
After last Sunday's disappointing 1-1 draw at home to Monaco, it was important that Unai Emery's men reacted well. They did just that, dominating a poor Rennes side and taking many of their chances at Roazhon Park.
Of equal importance to the response after last weekend's setback was the clean sheet Alphonse Areola kept. Considering the level of rotation undertaken by Emery, it looked all the more worth celebrating.
After such a dominant 4-0 win, there are few genuine complaints. Everything went well for PSG and they remain on course for a third consecutive Coupe de France title.
With that said, Les Parisiens could and should have had more than the four goals they boasted at full-time. Lucas, Ben Arfa and Christopher Nkunku all missed good chances to open up a bigger lead for the men from the capital.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Emery utilised the squad depth available to him, rotating his starting XI, which saw him rewarded with a convincing win.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alphonse Areola, 6 -- A much-needed confidence boost. After a relatively quiet first half, the Frenchman was worked more in the second and made some important interventions.
DF Serge Aurier, 5 -- Sufficient for a first PSG appearance of 2017. However, the Ivory Coast international must offer more in the future after Thomas Meunier's strong recent performances.
DF Marquinhos, 6 -- Authoritative. In the absence of captain and compatriot Thiago Silva, the Brazil international was the senior figure in his central defensive partnership with Presnel Kimpembe.
DF Presnel Kimpembe, 6 -- Undisturbed. The France under-21 international enjoyed a calm outing in Rennes without needing to do much.
DF Maxwell, 6 -- The veteran Brazilian was allowed to roam forward more often than usual and took the opportunity to whip a few crosses into the Rennes box.
MF Thiago Motta, 7 -- Vintage. The Italian veteran put in one of his best performances of the season so far, dominating from his deep-lying midfield role. Motta set up Draxler's opener and played a role in Lucas' goal too.
MF Christopher Nkunku, 5 -- Could have done better. After the high standards he set for himself at the start of 2017, this was a bit disappointing. The PSG youth academy graduate missed a great second half chance.
MF Adrien Rabiot, 6 -- Improving. The France international is still working his way back to form and fitness after a lengthy injury lay-off. Rabiot is capable of better but for now, it was passable.
FW Lucas Moura, 6 -- Unselfish. The Brazilian was not as individualistic as Draxler and Ben Arfa were at times and perhaps that is why he only finished with the one goal.
FW Hatem Ben Arfa, 7 -- The Frenchman will be relieved after his outing. Handed a rare chance to impress in the absence of Edinson Cavani, he took it by providing an assist for Lucas and scoring himself at the death. However, he could also have done more and his control was sloppy at times.
FW Julian Draxler, 8 -- The German continues to justify his status as PSG's most important January signing with two excellent goals, his second and third away at Rennes, to keep the pressure on the absent Angel Di Maria after taking his place in the starting XI recently.
FW Javier Pastore, 6 -- Making his first appearance after a significant spell out through injury, the Argentina international made the most of the 21 minutes he was given in place of Draxler. An intelligent quick free kick provided Ben Arfa with PSG's fourth goal.
MF Blaise Matuidi, NR -- Sent on for Motta after 70 minutes, the France international brought some energy and intensity to the midfield but the hard work had already been done.
FW Goncalo Guedes, NR -- Handed 13 minutes as Lucas's replacement late on, the Portugual international did not have enough time to really impose himself.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.