Neymar scores brace, Mbappe on target in win – Sporting Life

Neymar continued his stellar start to the season with a brace, while Kylian Mbappe marked his return to the team with a goal but also saved a penalty as Paris Saint-Germain beat Montpellier 5-2 in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

On a hot night at the Parc des Princes, Neymar gave PSG a 2-0 lead with a penalty after a Falaye Sacko own goal put them ahead.

The Brazilian then headed in his second goal and PSG’s third just after the break, taking his tally of the season to five after just three games.

Wahbi Khazri pulled one back for Montpellier before Mbappe made it 4-1 and new signing Renato Sanches came off the bench to pick up the fifth late on.

Enzo Tchato provided further consolation for the visitors after his death, but PSG have recorded three wins out of three this season under new coach Christophe Galtier, scoring 14 goals in the process.

Neymar has picked up where he left off last season, scoring nine goals in PSG’s last nine Ligue 1 games.

Plagued by fitness issues so often since arriving in Paris in 2017, he finally looks in the best of health.

In contrast, Mbappe was playing his first competitive game since announcing on the final night of last season that he had agreed a new three-year deal to stay at PSG, refusing a move to Real Madrid in the process.

MBAPPE “NEEDS TIME”

The French superstar missed his club’s first two games of the new season – a 4-0 defeat by Nantes in the season-opening Champions Trophy and then a 5-0 win at Clermont – first through suspension and then injury.

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“Physically we knew his lack of playing time pre-season would cost him,” Galtier told Canal Plus when asked about Mbappe’s performance and attitude, with the 23-year-old appearing frustrated at times that evening.

“He’s a competitor, he wants to be good and he wants to get good quickly.”

Mbappe, whose last game was against Gamba Osaka in Japan almost three weeks ago, had saved a penalty from Montpellier goalkeeper Jonas Omlin midway through the first half after the VAR spotted a hand ball in the box.

However, it was his shot that was deflected by Sacko into an own goal to break the impasse and Mbappe later scored his goal from a second-half Neymar corner, but Galtier admitted the striker was not yet at his best .

“A top footballer can’t just switch on or off. He needs time to get back to 100 percent of his sporting ability and when he gets there he will do even more,” admitted Galtier.

“He likes to come forward and score goals and it’s really quite normal that he’s not disappointed but is a little bit unfit compared to his team-mates.”

Meanwhile, Neymar thought he’d scored a hat-trick late on when he scored after a Lionel Messi pass, only for the celebrations to be cut short when the VAR spotted an offside under construction.

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Shortly after, Sanches scored for a reported €15million shortly after coming on after a move from Lille.

PSG are expected to make more signings before the end of the transfer window and are closely linked with Napoli’s Spanish midfielder Fabian Ruiz.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s scheduled game between Lorient and Lyon has been canceled due to damage to the Breton side’s pitch from the scorching, dry summer weather in France combined with a festival that took place on the surface last week.

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