Marshall Munetsi outshines Neymar as Reims stun PSG

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE international midfielder Marshall Munetsi produced his best performance since his big move to France after providing an assist as Stade de Reims handed giants Paris Saint-Germain their first home defeat in Ligue 1 for 16 months with 2-0 win on Wednesday night.

The 23-year-old rising star who was making his first start for Stade de Reims, capped off a memorable evening by notching an assist after his delightful cross from the right was headed home by striker Hassane Kamara for the opener in the 29th minute.

Reims held onto their precious lead for most of the game with Munetsi impressing in the middle of the park where he held his own against some of PSG star players such as Neymar, Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria.

PSG were unable to create danger in the closing stages AS Boulaye Dia compounded their dad night after finding the back of the net in the fifth minute of injury time to seal a famous 2-0 victory for Reims.

It was PSG’s first home defeat in Ligue 1 since they lost to Rennes 2-0 at the Parc in May 2018.

Munetsi, who played the entire 90 minutes as he produced a midfield masterclass against some of Europe’s finest players, expressed his delight at his team’s famous win in a post on Twitter after the game.

“What an amazing performance, so happy to have made my first full debut. God is great,” the Mabvuku-born midfielder said.

Munetsi joined Reims in June after three seasons in South Africa with Orlando Pirates and a loan stint with Baroka, where he displayed incredible versatility with solid displays in midfield and defence.

Although he was not a regular at Pirates, Munetsi caught the eye of Stade de Reims, who moved quickly to sign him before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Munetsi’s career in France got off to a slow start after his injury during the team’s preseason before managing three consecutive five-minute cameos against Nantes, Lille and AS Monaco before his first start against PSG on Wednesday.

The popular French weekly magazine, France Football praised his performance after the game, as the best player on the pitch in the victory over Thomas Tuchel’s league leaders.

“Arriving from South Africa, and more specifically Orlando Pirates, the Zimbabwean had not yet had the opportunity to show himself,” the publication stated.

“It’s done, and in what way! Covering every blade of grass, he finished the match with five tackles, the best total of the match, six interceptions and won eleven duels. Added to the incredible statistics mentioned, Munetsi also completed 30 of his 25 attempted passes with a completion rate of 86%,” France Football said.

Munetsi, who scored his first goal for the Warriors in a recent World Cup qualifier against Somalia, is expected to play a crucial role in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November.