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Sunday, 28 February 2021

PSG revive Champions League chances with Neymar penalty

Reuters , Wednesday 25 Nov 2020
Neymar
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (R) vies for the ball with Leipzig's French defender Nordi Mukiele during the UEFA Champions League Group H second-leg football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and RB Leipzig (AFP)
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Paris St Germain revived their hopes of reaching the Champions League knockout phase when an early Neymar penalty earned a fortunate 1-0 home win against RB Leipzig in Group H on Tuesday.

Neymar scored his first goal in the competition in six games, but PSG were otherwise toothless throughout as they leapfrogged Leipzig into second place.

The French champions have six points from four games, three behind group leaders Manchester United and ahead of third-placed Leipzig thanks to their head-to-head record.

PSG next meet Manchester United at Old Trafford with Leipzig visiting Istanbul Basaksehir, who have three points, on Dec. 2.

Neymar put the hosts ahead in the 11th minute, coolly converting a penalty after Angel Di Maria was brought down by Marcel Sabitzer.

But the Brazilian’s bag of tricks was as empty as a spectatorless Parc des Princes and he and Kylian Mbappe, who was equally disappointing, were replaced in added time.

In the 12th minute, Keylor Navas tipped over Dayot Upamecano’s header as Leipzig, who beat PSG 2-1 in the previous round of matches, threatened in a low-key opening.

Leipzig, by far the best team on the pitch, had another clear chance in the 38th minute but Navas parried away Amadou Haidara’s fierce 18-metre strike.

The visitors continued to apply pressure after the break, with Emil Forsberg’s half-volley going just wide of Navas’s left-hand post five minutes into the second half.

Neymar and Mbappe were still nowhere to be seen and PSG ended the game with only two shots on target and 40% possession, looking nothing like the team who reached last season’s final.

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