Neymar inspires PSG to comeback win at Montpellier; Monaco triumph - GulfToday

Neymar inspires PSG to comeback win at Montpellier; Monaco triumph


Paris St Germain’s Neymar scores against Montpellier during their French League match on Saturday. Reuters

A Neymar-inspired Paris Saint Germain (PSG) came from behind to beat 10-man Montpellier 3-1 on Saturday and extended their lead at the top of French League to eight points.

Neymar smashed a clinical free-kick and helped set up another goal with a sublime pass as PSG snatched an unlikely victory after Montpellier took the lead in 41st minutes.

Leandro Paredes diverted Daniel Congre’s header into their own goal to hand Montpellier a 1-0 lead. PSG, who had not won on their three previous trips to Montpellier, were desperate to break the jinx.  They were also forced to make two changes when Presnel Kimpembe and Idrissa Gueye limped out of the ground with injuries. But the dismissal of Pedro Mendes on 72 minutes for a second yellow card after he scythed down Neymar proved the turning point.

The Brazilian dusted himself down and curled the resulting free-kick from 25 yards beyond Geronimo Rulli and into the top corner for his sixth goal this season to bring PSG level.

Neymar then slipped a ball through to Kylian Mbappe in the Montpellier area, the French forward cutting inside Arnaud Souquet and lashing inside the far post to put the visitors ahead.

Neymar almost netted again from a free-kick in a similar position when his effort struck the upright, before the world’s two most expensive players combined to supply Mauro Icardi for the third goal in a seven-minute blitz.

Played into space down the left flank by Neymar, Mbappe clipped a delightful cross with the outside of his right boot for Icardi to volley home from eight yards. There was concern in the closing stages in Montpellier when PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas was struck on the head by a water bottle thrown from the stands.

Elsewhere, Wissam Ben Yedder claimed his league-best 11th goal of the campaign as Monaco swept Amiens aside 3-0 with Guillermo Maripan and Keita Balde also on target.

Patrick Vieira’s Nice eased to a 4-1 win at home to Metz. Wylan Cyprien scored twice before Ignatius Ganago and Pierre Lees-Melou struck in the second half.

Strasbourg rebounded from their heavy midweek loss at Brest by inflicting a 4-2 defeat on Toulouse — the seventh successive reverse for the league’s bottom club.

Senegal forward Mbaye Niang bagged both goals as Rennes moved fourth following a 2-1 home victory over Angers.

Meanwhile, Reims defeated St Etienne 3-1 in another French League match on Sunday.

Remi Oudin, Boulaye Dia and Moussa Doumbia were on target as Reims cruised to a facile victory. For St Etienne Romain Hamouma scored the only goal.


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