PARIS ( Associated Press) — Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain’s powerful attack put up another strong performance on Saturday, beating Montpellier 5-2 in a game in the French league that saw Kylian Mbappe return from injury and open his scoring bill of the campaign. . Missed a penalty.
A double allowed Neymar to score three goals in two matches of the new campaign, on the night Argentina’s Lionel Messi went blank. The Brazilian striker was also PSG’s best player in pre-season games, just as he is looking to improve his level for the World Cup starting in November in Qatar.
The league’s defending champions PSG also scored five goals in their duel on the first date. Seeking to close the space to the locals, Montpellier long ago decided to put up a defensive block.
But the pressure was too much for centre-back Falaye Sakko, who converted Mbappe’s shot into his own goal in the 39th minute.
After a series of dribbling by Messi, Sacco touched a ball with his hand at 42. Neymar deceived Jonas Omlin and took a 2-0 lead on the scoreboard.
Taking advantage of another defensive mistake, Paris’ team scored the third goal in the 51st minute. Mbappe blocked a pass from Omlin and found Achraf Hakimi, whose deflected cross was sent into the net by Neymar.
Far from his optimum level, Mbappe found the goal in the 69th with a chipped shot after a corner.
“He’s a competitor, he wants to be good and he wants to be soon,” PSG coach Christophe Gaultier told Canal Plus. “He needs some time to be 100%. When he is 100% it will make all the difference.”
In his PSG debut, Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanchez scored with a first intention shot in the 88th minute.
Omlin made some decent saves to disappoint PSG for more than 30 minutes. The Swiss goalkeeper saved a penalty from Mbappe in the 23rd after a handball by Jordan Ferri.
Montpelier scored in the 58th minute with a short shot from Wahabi Khajri and a half volley from Enzo Tchato in stoppage time.
Also on Saturday, Rennes’ defensive problems were on display when he lost his lead to a 1-1 draw with 10-man Monaco.
In a duel between the contenders for the European places, Monaco striker Briel Embolo scored after goalkeeper Dogan Alemdar’s hard-fought goal in the 73rd minute.
Rennes striker Gaiton Laborde scored from a rebound in the 59th minute.
Monaco were reduced to 10 players after 15 minutes, after midfielder Yousuf Fofana was given a red card for an ankle kick from Martin Terrier.