Neymar scores on PSG debut
GUINGAMP, France (AP):
World-record signing Neymar scored and set up another goal on an impressive debut for Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in a 3-0 win at Guingamp yesterday.
Neymar was dangerous throughout the French league match, creating chances at the Roudourou Stadium against a well-organised side that only cracked early in the second half when Jordan Ikoko scored an embarrassing own-goal.
PSG was in total control afterwards.
Edinson Cavani added PSG's second goal 10 minutes later on the break after being set up by Neymar, and the Brazil star sealed the win from Cavani's assist.
PSG's second win in two matches lifted the Paris side level on points with leader Lyon.
Neymar, who signed from Barcelona last week for a record €222 million (US$262 million), missed the start of the season at the Parc des Princes against Amiens due to paperwork problems.
He was included in coach Unai Emery's starting line-up yesterday on the left wing of PSG's attack. Emery opted for a 4-3-3 formation, with Angel Di Maria supporting Cavani on the other wing.
Guingamp supporters held up a banner that mocked PSG president Nasser Al-Khalaifi on his purchase and said: "Nasser buy us a round."
Cavani and Neymar combined well with a series of short passes for each other around the penalty area, although they struggled to break through the hosts' solid defence.
Cavani had PSG's first chance in the 15th but saw his well-taken effort denied by 'keeper Karl-Johan Johnsson.
Neymar fired his first shot of the game soon after, driving the ball forward with brutal acceleration to pass a defender, but his strike went well over the bar.
Neymar then set up Marquinhos with a precise curled cross on the left side of the box, only for the PSG defender to send his diving header against the bar.
Cavani put more pressure on Johansson in the 35th with a dangerous free kick tipped over by the Swedish 'keeper, but PSG could not break the deadlock before the interval as referee Antony Gautier waved off penalty claims from Neymar and Di Maria.
Etienne Didot came close to opening the scoring two minutes into the second half for the hosts with a long-range shot, which narrowly went wide.
But the hosts saw all their efforts damaged when Ikoko, who had contained Neymar, beat his own 'keeper with a clumsy back pass that ended in the back of the net.
Guingamp pushed hard for an equaliser but was caught on the break in the 62nd as Cavani, the league's top scorer last season, connected with a through ball from Neymar and finished off the move with a low shot.
Cavani then turned provider to set up Neymar with a generous cut-back that the Brazil captain converted from close range with a poke.