Neymar Scores Late Winner in Season Debut as PSG Beat Strasbourg 1-0

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IISeptember 14, 2019

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace (RCS) on September 14, 2019 at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Neymar scored a brilliant overhead kick in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win for Paris Saint-Germain against Strasbourg on his return to Ligue 1 action on Saturday.

The Brazilian had been booed by home supporters throughout the match but produced a moment of magic from Abdou Diallo's cross to clinch all three points.

PSG dominated possession in the first half but rarely threatened, and the only effort on target came from Strasbourg forward Ludovic Ajorque, whose shot was tipped around the post by Keylor Navas.

The hosts improved slightly after the break but struggled to find a way past Matz Sels in the Strasbourg goal.

Neymar fired over the bar, had an effort saved by Sels and hit the post from a corner before eventually finding the breakthrough in some style in the 93rd minute.

PSG boss Thomas Tuchel handed Neymar his first start of the season on Saturday, while Navas made his debut for the club after a late move from Real Madrid. Fellow new arrival Mauro Icardi had to make do with a place on the bench despite the absences of injured attackers Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe:

Paris Saint-Germain @PSG_English

🔛📄#PSGRCSA Here is our starting 1⃣1⃣ for today's match 🆚 @RCSA ⚡️ 🔴🔵#ICICESTPARIS https://t.co/bgNASs7D56

The club's supporters made their feelings about Neymar and his father known before the match had even kicked off at the Parc des Princes, as shared by Get French Football News:

Get French Football News @GFFN

Excellent footage from our man @leedavey99 from inside the Virage Auteuil where the biggest ultra group watches matches upon the announcement of Neymar’s involvement in the XI. https://t.co/4EtcfD236u

Get French Football News @GFFN

CUP ultras unveil their 1st banner of the match: "Neymar Sr, go sell your son in Vila Mimosa (most renowned area for prostitution in Rio de Janeiro)." (📸@B_Quarez) https://t.co/ZfXDYLuzOK

The Brazilian was linked with a move away from the club in the transfer window. According to ESPN's Jonathan Johnson, Neymar told the Parisians that he wanted to leave.

Neymar did little to win supporters around in a quiet first half. The closest he came to breaking the deadlock was a curling shot that flew comfortably wide just before half-time.

Neither goalkeeper was troubled in a tepid first half. Navas' save from Ajorque was the only shot on target either side managed before half-time.

PSG dominated possession after the break but again struggled to create clear-cut opportunities. Neymar dribbled into the box on 55 minutes but was forced out wide and ended up firing over the bar from a tight angle.

Tuchel sent on Icardi just after the hour for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, and the Inter Milan loanee was afforded a warm welcome on his PSG debut.

Yet PSG continued to toil and needed Navas to produce another good save from Ajorque with 15 minutes to go before Neymar raced down the other end and had a shot blocked by Sels.

The hosts ramped up the pressure in the closing stages. Substitute Ander Herrera saw a low shot tipped around the post by Sels, and Neymar hit the upright directly from the resulting corner.

Yet PSG continued to press and were rewarded deep into stoppage time. Diallo whipped in a fine cross from the left for Neymar to acrobatically power the ball past Sels.

Johnson noted the reaction from the home supporters:

Jonathan Johnson @Jon_LeGossip

BUT! PSG 1-0 Strasbourg. Guess who? Neymar! #PSGRCSA

The Brazilian thought he had scored a second moments later. A quick break from the hosts saw Angel Di Maria tee up Neymar for a simple finish, but the goal was ruled out for offside.


What's Next?

PSG take on Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday in the French capital and then head to Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday. Strasbourg are back in league action on Friday at home to Nantes.


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