Saturday, October 31, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 Angers: Neymar off the mark with a double

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 2 Oct 2020

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Neymar got off the mark for the season with a double as Paris Saint-Germain defeated Angers 6-1 in Ligue 1 on Friday.

A suspension and a calf issue hindered Neymar’s start to the campaign, but he was in fine form with a goal in either half as Thomas Tuchel’s men ran riot at the Parc des Princes.

Alessandro Florenzi opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a beautiful first goal for the club before the brace from PSG’s Brazil star moved them out of sight early in the second half.

Ismael Traore got Angers on the board but strikes from Julian Draxler, Idrissa Gueye and Kylian Mbappe ensured there was no tense finale as the champions recorded their fourth straight win.

After Mbappe saw a low effort saved well by Paul Bernardoni, Florenzi took the goalkeeper out of the equation with a sublime lobbed volley from the right side of the box.

Mbappe sent a cutback into Bernardoni’s arms after rounding the goalkeeper but got it right at the next attempt, darting between Sada Thioub and Abdoulaye Bamba and teeing up Neymar to slam in off the underside of the crossbar.

Mbappe had a goal chalked off for offside against Mauro Icardi in the build-up before half-time but Neymar made it three in the 47th minute, slotting home Florenzi’s deflected cross.

Angers pulled one back when captain Traore ghosted in behind Mitchel Bakker to head Pierrick Capelle’s delivery beyond Keylor Navas, but hopes of a comeback were short-lived.

PSG restored their three-goal cushion in the 57th minute when Bakker squared for Draxler and his shot found the back of the net via a deflection.

Substitute Gueye also benefited from a wicked deflection as his 25-yard shot spun past Bernardoni in the 71st minute.

PSG were in cruise control and Mbappe rounded off the scoring with a first-time finish from Pablo Sarabia’s low cross, leaving Bernardoni rooted to the spot.
 

What does it mean? Early blip truly in the past

PSG’s title defence started with back-to-back defeats to Lens and Marseille, but they appear to be back to their brilliant best despite continuing to contend with suspensions and injuries.

They moved to within a point of pacesetters Rennes, who are not in action until Sunday against Reims, and Tuchel will expect them to make top spot their own soon after the international break.

A stunning partnership

Neymar and Mbappe looked a cut above against Angers, with their link-up play proving a particular highlight. Mbappe has now set up five more Ligue 1 goals for Neymar than any other PSG player.

Icardi in the background

Mbappe and Neymar shone far brighter than Icardi, who only had 19 touches and made eight passes. He was denied a goal by a brilliant block from Traore on the edge of the six-yard box in the 76th minute.

What’s next?

PSG travel to Nimes after the international break, while Angers will entertain Metz.

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