Neymar Struggles as PSG Beat Lyon After 2 Own Goals

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2017

Paris Saint-Germain's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani (R) celebrates with Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (L) and Paris Saint-Germain's French forward Kylian Mbappe after scoring the opening goal during the French Ligue 1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Lyon (OL) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on September 17, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD        (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
ALAIN JOCARD/Getty Images

Neymar struggled against a resolute Lyon side on Sunday, but Paris Saint-Germain were nevertheless able to run out 2-0 winners at the Parc des Princes in a hard-fought Ligue 1 contest thanks to two own goals.

The forward was perhaps fortunate to stay on the pitch after picking up a yellow card in the second half for blocking off Bertrand Traore, having been lucky not to receive one in the first, but he played a key role in Jeremy Morel's own goal.    

Marcelo had broken the deadlock in the 75th minute when he turned Edinson Cavani's flick into his own goal, and the Uruguayan also had a penalty pushed on to the crossbar after denying Neymar the chance to take it.

The Brazilian struggled to impose himself on the game in the early stages as his side laboured amid a strong start from the visitors.

His first contribution of note was a cross for Thiago Silva, but his compatriot was unable to convert it, per ESPN FC's Jonathan Johnson:

Neymar's penchant for the spectacular was on show after a quarter of an hour when he almost scored directly from a corner, but goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was alive to the danger.

Les Parisiens shared a snapshot of the 25-year-old in action midway through the half:

Lyon kept the star contained, however, and he particularly struggled to get past Kenny Tete as the right-back twice dispossessed him.

Indeed, Neymar cut a frustrated figure, and he was fortunate to escape a booking when he kicked out at Nabil Fekir when the pair came together.

His best chance of the half came in the final minutes when he picked up the ball from Kylian Mbappe and advanced on goal, but his strike from 18 yards was straight at Lopes and comfortably dealt with.

Goal's Robin Bairner gave his take at half-time:

Neymar twice had opportunities from free-kicks early in the second half, and after smacking the first straight into Lyon's wall, his second forced a diving save from Lopes.

After taking the set pieces ahead of Cavani, it was Neymar's team-mate who insisted on claiming the chance from the penalty spot with PSG leading 1-0, but the striker was unable to capitalise.

Johnson believed the former Barcelona man bore some responsibility, while Lyon took the opportunity to use him in their response on social media:

The Brazil international's best contribution came with four minutes of normal time remaining when he slid Mbappe in with a lovely through ball. The France international's strike was saved by Lopes, but the ball nevertheless deflected in off the unfortunate Morel.

Neymar's next outing with PSG will take him to Montpellier on Saturday, when his side target seven wins from seven Ligue 1 matches.