Sunday 26 January 2020

Neymar off to a flier as he makes his Paris Saint-Germain debut after record breaking move

Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar celebrates. Photo: Reuters
Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar celebrates. Photo: Reuters

Neymar made a scoring start to his Paris St Germain career as the capital club cruised to a 3-0 Ligue 1 win at Guingamp.

The Brazil forward was making his much-anticipated first appearance for PSG since joining them from Barcelona for a world-record 222million euro (£200.6million) transfer fee.

And he crowned PSG's impressive second-half show by finishing from close range eight minutes from time.

Neymar had earlier provided a delightful 62nd-minute pass from which Edinson Cavani struck to make it 2-0.

And the world's most expensive player had also been involved in the build-up to the opener in the 52nd minute, a Jordan Ikoko own-goal, as he attempted to play in Cavani.

Neymar started on the left of a front three also featuring Cavani and Angel Di Maria and was given considerable licence to roam.

The 25-year-old produced plenty of impressive moments in what will surely go down as a memorable start to his PSG career.

Neymar drove one shot over the crossbar but Marquinhos came the closest to breaking the first-half deadlock after his bullet header cannoned back off the crossbar.

Yannis Salibur went close for Guingamp, but the visitors were soon back on the front foot and it was no surprise when they took the lead - only how it came about.

Neymar's attempted pass to Cavani was intercepted by Pedro Rebocho, diverting the ball to Ikoko, who somehow managed to send it past his own goalkeeper and into the net.

Three minutes later Neymar slid in a wonderful pass for Cavani, who slotted past Karl-Johan Johnsson in the Guingamp goal.

It looked as if that might be his most notable contribution, with Johnsson saving well to deny him towards the end, but within seconds of that effort Neymar finished Cavani's cutback.

Radamel Falcao netted a hat-trick while Kylian Mbappe watched from the bench as champions Monaco won 4-1 at Dijon.

Nine days on from Mbappe limping off in the 3-2 victory over Toulouse, and amid considerable speculation linking him with a move to PSG, the 18-year-old was named as a substitute for this contest by boss Leonardo Jardim.

Monaco were in cruise control as Falcao (3 & 37) and Jemerson (22) put them 3-0 up before Wesley Said pulled one back for Dijon a minute prior to the break.

As Mbappe remained an unused substitute, Falcao completed his treble with a powerful header six minutes after the break.

Strasbourg secured their first top-flight win following promotion by beating 10-man Lille 3-0 at home.

Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan was shown a straight red card in the 63rd minute for violent conduct having clashed with Strasbourg midfielder Benjamin Corgnet.

And with the visitors having made all three substitutions at that point, it was striker Nicolas de Preville who initially replaced Maignan in goal.

After De Preville was beaten by Jonas Martin's 74th-minute shot, defender and captain Ibrahim Amadou then took over between the posts but was beaten by Dimitri Lienard (82, pen) and Jeremy Grimm (88).

PA Media

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