Champions League: Neymar, Neymar shine as PSG hammer Napoli

Image copyright AFP Image caption Neymar made his first Champions League start of the season on Tuesday

Paris St-Germain scored three goals in the first 29 minutes against Napoli to open up a six-point lead at the top of Group C.

Neymar and Kylian Mbappe hit the opening two after they combined for Kylian Mbappe to open the scoring.

PSG made it 3-0 at half-time through a Thiago Silva header and strikes from Neymar and Edinson Cavani.

Carlos Bacca gave Napoli hope but Cavani made it 6-1 with a late brace.

Super Neymar

The former Barcelona forward and the 19-year-old Mbappe are the two most influential players in their side right now.

Neymar hasn’t scored in his last six Champions League games but scored against Napoli on Tuesday to put PSG on top of Group C with five points.

I’ve written about Neymar’s stunning form in recent weeks, so what does he do to make it a highlight?

He’s a splendid crosser of the ball. He might get pinged with yellow cards but he still gets a pass in. It’s always a threat.

However, I did once see him take a free-kick against Liverpool and his head did not appear to move for the entire service.

I’ll stick to seeing him put it right back and he made a few great runs on Tuesday to score.

Cavani, the world’s most expensive player, got his second in as many games to continue his rich Champions League form and become PSG’s all-time top scorer.

The 37-year-old’s haul of 43 goals in 85 appearances now has him one ahead of Thierry Henry on the club’s all-time list.

Signing up too

Lyon won in injury time against Red Star Belgrade

Lyon won 1-0 away to Red Star Belgrade to put themselves top of Group C with four points and a game in hand.

You could see they wanted this victory as much as their rivals and it was a difficult night for the Serbians.

It was the first time Lyon have qualified for the knockout stage since 2007-08 and you could sense they took it quite seriously.

We’ve seen this before from them with youngsters often making their first Champions League start. Here was a team full of first-team stars but still started their youth.

Abdou Diallo is a 19-year-old central defender and while he looked nervous at times, he showed enough to suggest he has a big future.

There were 19-year-old midfielder Samuel Badji, 19-year-old midfielder Michel Bastos and his fellow 19-year-old defender Rachid Ghezzal who both got their first Champions League starts.

Vicente Guaita has also started the past three games for Lyon and David Soria has played in the past three games for them too.

My last word…

I should probably end my reflections with one that resonates most for Red Star.

The two teams in top place currently have the same number of points – just two. But if PSG lose at Marseille next time out, they could drop into second place behind Inter Milan who draw at home to Napoli.

This isn’t to say Red Star are in with a shout of finishing second. But it was a good night for us and they really wanted to finish top in their last group game. I’m really pleased with what we did.

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