Champions League: Neymar scores hat-trick as PSG thrash Red Star 6-1

first_imgNeymar ran the show in Paris on Wednesday as Paris Saint Germain inflicted a 6-1 rout on Serbian side Red Star Belgrade in their Champions League Group C encounter, even as Liverpool and Napoli struggled to find the net later in the evening.Neymar scored a hat-trick while Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani and France World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe added a goal each as the 1991 European Cup winners Red Star were ripped apart away from home.Red Star goalkeeper Milan Borjan saved them from a heavier defeat but it was still their heaviest defeat in Europe, ending their 38-match unbeaten run in all competitions stretching back to last season.With the win, PSG now have three points from two games after their opening 3-2 defeat by Liverpool. Napoli later in the day beat Liverpool 1-0 to go on top of the group. Liverpool and PSG are level on second and third while Red Star are at the bottom with just a point.Hat-trick hero #PSGFKCZ pic.twitter.com/VU445N2csTParis Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) October 3, 2018Despite the obvious gulf in class, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel praised his team for keeping up a high tempo which barely allowed the visitors to get out of their own half and singled out the outstanding Neymar.”We’ve improved our intensity in every game and you saw that tonight,” Tuchel told a news conference.”Neymar is one of the best players in Europe. We have several of the best in our team — not just Neymar. We’ve won lots of games because we have the best players, but also because we were the best team. That’s very important.”advertisementAlso read – Champions League: Messi masterclass lights up Wembley, sinks TottenhamIt was one-way traffic from the start as the home side raced into a 2-0 lead with two goals in two minutes as Neymar curled a delightful free kick past Borjan in the 20th minute before he converted a fine run and pass by Mbappe.#UCL Skill of the Day: @neymarjr spots the gap… pic.twitter.com/wP6oeaXhJYUEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 3, 2018Cavani made it 3-0 with a deflected shot from inside the penalty area in the 37th minute before Di Maria added a fourth from close range after Thomas Meunier floated in a superb pass with the outside of his foot.In between the goals and early in the second half, Borjan pulled off a string of superb saves to deny Neymar and Mbappe on multiple occasions as PSG carved open Red Star’s defence at will, with Mbappe also guilty of some sloppy finishing.Mbappe finally found the back of the net in the 70th minute after a dazzling move involving Neymar and Juan Bernat left the 19-year-old with a simple tap in from six metres.Red Star, playing in the competition’s group stages for the first time, scored their maiden goal on the big stage when midfielder Marko Marin buried a shot from 12 metres into the top corner in his team’s first purposeful move.Also read – Champions League: Insigne’s 90th minute winner for Napoli downs LiverpoolBorjan could only offer a wry smile when Neymar put the icing on the cake of a brilliant individual performance as he unleashed another breathtaking free kick from 30 metres in the 81st minute before he was substituted.Cavani had the ball in the back of the net again shortly afterwards but the goal was disallowed for a marginal offside as PSG kept their feet on the pedal until the final whistle.INTER’S ICARDI PROFITS FROM ERROR TO NET WINNER AGAINST PSVMauro Icardi took advantage of an error from PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet to gift Inter Milan a 2-1 victory in their Champions League Group B clash on Wednesday.Tonight was the first time since 2005-6 that we started a @ChampionsLeague campaign with two wins.Goodnight #InterFans, let’s get ready for #SpalInter now! #PSVFCIM #ForzaInter #UCL pic.twitter.com/S0wXCVL24cInter (@Inter_en) October 3, 2018Inter made it two wins from two and inflicted a second defeat on the Dutch side as Radja Nainggolan fired in an equaliser after Pablo Rosario scored his first goal in three years to give PSV the lead.The victory was deserved on the balance of play, though PSV can point to bad luck in crucial moments and will feel somewhat aggrieved, as shown by the plastic bottles that were launched from the stands on to the pitch late in the match.The home side went in front on 27 minutes when Dutch junior international Rosario thundered his drive from 30 yards into the top corner with Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic rooted to the spot.advertisementThere was a moment of controversy five minutes before the break when Handanovic raced out of his box and handled the ball as Steven Bergwijn played it past him, earning the gloveman a yellow card. He was fortunate it was not red with Bergwijn probably free on goal but for his intervention.Also read – Champions League: Manchester United play out goalless draw at home vs ValenciaWith the home crowd still seething, Inter levelled just before the break when Zoet could only parry Kwadwo Asamoah’s shot and the ball fell for Nainggolan to smash into the net from the edge of the box.PSV were unfortunate not to be in front shortly after halftime when Gaston Pereiro crashed his shot from the edge of the box against the post.But it was the visitors who scored next just before the hour-mark as Icardi took advantage of uncertainty in the PSV defence to latch on to a long-ball and as Zoet collided with defender Daniel Schwaab, the Argentine forward side-footed into the empty net.Handanovic made a stunning stop to deny PSV substitute Donyell Malen an equaliser from an overhead kick, the acrobatic effort matched by the save from the Slovenian keeper which earned his side all three points.CASILLAS KEEPS GALATASARAY AT BAYA second-half header by Moussa Marega gave Porto a 1-0 Champions League win over Galatasaray on Wednesday after veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas kept the Turkish side at bay.French-born Mali forward Marega struck four minutes after the break as Porto claimed their first win in Group D, leaving the Portuguese champions level on points at the top with Schalke and one ahead of their Turkish opponents.Oh Marega, oh Marega…#FCPorto #FCPGS #UCL pic.twitter.com/kws6XUGDKtFC Porto (@FCPorto) October 3, 2018Both teams created chances in an open end-to-end game with both Casillas and his opposite number Fernando Muslera keeping the score down.Muslera was first to be called into action when the Uruguayan got down to block Yacine Brahimi’s powerful volley at the foot of the post, a chance created by Jesus Corona’s weaving run.Former Real Madrid goalkeeper Casillas, taking part in his 20th Champions League campaign, made two important saves with his legs just before halftime.First, he blocked Yuto Nagatomo’s close-range effort, then he foiled Sinan Gumus after the Galatasaray forward had burst from inside his own half.Porto, beaten 5-0 by Liverpool in their last home game in the competition, broke through when Alex Telles swung over a cross and Danilo distracted three defenders leaving Marega unmarked to head home from close range.Garry Rodrigues missed a chance to level by firing over after a one-two with Gumus and Muslera denied Marega a second goal after the Porto forward broke clear of the Galatasaray defence.Also read – Champions League: 10-man CSKA Moscow ride on Vlasic goal to stun Real MadridadvertisementLOKOMOTIV DERAILED BY LATE MCKENNIE HEADER FOR SCHALKESchalke 04 midfielder Weston McKennie scored with a header two minutes from time to give the Bundesliga side a 1-0 win at Lokomotiv Moscow in a rain-soaked Champions League match on Wednesday.BIG MOOD pic.twitter.com/TdgZt6UBcCWeston McKennie (@WMckennie) October 3, 2018Schalke’s first victory in Group D, in a disappointing game littered with misplaced passes, left them with four points from two games while the Russian champions have yet to get off the mark. Porto (one point) were hosting Galatasaray (three) later on Wednesday.Lokomotiv, whose 71-year-old coach Yuri Semin is in his fourth stint at the club, edged the first half and Dmitiri Barinov had their best chance with a low shot from the edge of the area which was turned away by Ralf Faehrmann.That proved to be Lokomotiv’s only shot on target.Schalke, who have lost five of their opening six Bundesliga matches, improved after the break and carved out several openings.One neat move down the left ended with Breel Embolo slipping the ball to Mark Uth whose shot went straight at goalkeeper Guilherme. Uth also flashed a low shot centimetres wide of the post in the 85th minute.They finally broke through in the 88th minute when 20-year-old American McKennie outjumped three defenders at a corner to head in.(With Reuters inputs)last_img

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