Neymar and Edinson Cavani brought a resounding end to talk of a rift between them as Paris Saint-Germain romped to a stunning 6-2 victory over Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes.
Reports of ill feeling between the two surfaced after an on-field disagreement over penalty-taking duties during the 2-0 win over Lyon a fortnight ago, but they showed that is firmly behind them on Saturday.
PSG were awarded a spot-kick in the 40th minute following a foolish handball by Otavio and Neymar converted it before turning to celebrate with Cavani, who won their argument against Lyon but was denied from 12 yards.
That was Neymar’s second of the match, the Brazilian having opened the scoring with a sublime free-kick and setting up Cavani for his eighth Ligue 1 goal in as many outings this term.
Unai Emery’s intention to attack was clear from his selection of Julian Draxler in place of Thiago Motta – one of four changes from the 3-0 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday – and the German rewarded his coach with a scintillating volley and an assist for Kylian Mbappe in the second half.
Thomas Meunier also netted with Younousse Sankhare and a Malcom penalty providing Bordeaux’s consolations as Jocelyn Gourvennec’s side suffered their first league defeat of the season, meaning PSG are the only unbeaten team left in the top flight.
PSG took just five minutes to get on the scoreboard. Mbappe’s quick feet drew a foul from experienced defender Jeremy Toulalan in a central position 30 yards out and Neymar dispatched a beautiful free-kick that spun away from Benoit Costil and into the top-left corner.
Seven minutes later the hosts’ captivating front three linked up magnificently to double their advantage. Mbappe flicked Presnel Kimpembe’s pass inside for Neymar, whose throughball found Cavani running in behind Vukasin Jovanovic to stab past Costil.
4 – Neymar has scored & assisted a goal for the 4th time in Ligue 1 this season, more than any other player in the Top 5 leagues. Neyyyymar. pic.twitter.com/QpGP75ubgN
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) September 30, 2017
The unrelenting hosts were three to the good when Meunier guided Yuri Berchice’s left-wing cross home, Mbappe’s failure to connect enabling the ball to run through to the Belgian.
But PSG were guilty of stepping off the gas and Bordeaux took full advantage. Theo Pellenard held up the ball brilliantly before spinning away from Marco Verratti and sliding a pass into Nicolas de Preville, who squared for Sankhare to add a simple finish.
Francois Kamano failed to head on target in a gilt-edged opportunity before Alphonse Areola kept out Malcom, but the visitors were out of the game by half-time. Otavio handled the ball in the box after Kamano failed to clear and Neymar sent Costil the wrong way from the resultant penalty.
Draxler made it five when, after launching the break, he met a cross from Mbappe with an exquisite cross-goal volley with the outside of his left boot that gave Costil no chance.
After a tepid start to the second period their roles switched, Draxler winning possession in the Bordeaux half and supplying the ball that Mbappe guided across the keeper and inside the far post in the 58th minute.
Cavani was warmly applauded a
s he made way for Angel Di Maria after the hour mark and PSG struggled to threaten in the Uruguayan’s absence.
Instead it was Bordeaux who went close as substitute Alexandre Mendy rattled the post and Kamano was kept out by an impressive stop from Areola.
Neymar volleyed a chance for his hat-trick wide from a delightful Giovani Lo Celso chip in the 80th minute
, but it was another Brazilian who had the final say.
Meunier sent Jonathan Cafu tumbling in the box and Malcom slammed the penalty into the top-right corner for a goal that did little to dampen spirits at a jubilant Parc des Princes.
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