Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Emery welcomes added pressure after Neymar arrival as PSG win season opener

SoccerNews in La Liga 6 Aug 2017

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Unai Emery is unfazed by the added pressure on him at Paris Saint-Germain following Neymar’s world-record arrival, instead relishing the extra attention.

French giants PSG signed Neymar from Barcelona on Thursday after activating the Brazil international’s €222million buyout clause.

Neymar did not feature in PSG’s season-opening 2-0 win at home to Amiens on Saturday, though he was presented to the Parc des Princes crowd pre-game.

With Neymar now calling Paris home, pressure is on Emery to deliver silverware after PSG were dethroned by Monaco in Ligue 1 last season, while the French capital club suffered a humiliating Champions League last-16 exit to Barca but the former Sevilla boss is looking forward to the campaign ahead.

“He’s a player who will help the club to get a level higher,” Emery said. “Without Neymar PSG is a great club but with Neymar it’s a little better. A little greater.

“The way we will adapt being close a player like him. The other players here are also some great players. So together we can get better and growing up. It’s true that the enthusiasm from the fans is even bigger.

“This pressure is welcome, like all positive things. Neymar is there to give the team a little more. Neymar is better for us.

“I know that the club did everything possible to get the approval for the player [from the LFP in order for him to be able to play against Amiens],” Emery added. “Neymar was with the group when we were getting ready for the game.

“We wait until the very last minute to know if he could play. I don’t know if in Spain they did everything or not. But I know that PSG did everything possible to have him today on the pitch.”

Edison Cavani and Javier Pastore were on target against newly-promoted Amiens as Neymar watched from the stands.

Cavani opened the scoring three minutes before half-time, while Pastore sealed the victory 10 minutes from the end.

“It was important for Edinson [Cavani] that he starts to score again,” Emery said. “However as I told him, he needs to improve something. Today he scored following a cross-shot after a good control.

“He also gave an assist for Pastore. Another important one for Adrien Rabiot during the first-half. Another one for [Angel] Di Maria. I said assist even if there were no goals in these cases. I spoke a lot with him about what he needs to work on in order to improve. I think today he went a step further.”

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