Neymar struck a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain got their Champions League campaign back on track with a 6-1 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade at home on Wednesday.
Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani and young sensation Kylian Mbappe added a goal each as the French Champions return to winning ways in Europe’s elite-league following the 2-3 defeat to Liverpool in their opening Group C encounter. They move up to second with three points from two games.
Red Star though will have to thank goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who pulled-off some fantastic saves to save his side from a heavier defeat. Bojan conceded six times, but in between those goals saved 11 other shots, most of which came from Neymar as Mbappe as PSG made light work of their opponent’s defence.
The home side were on top right from the start and by the 15th minute, PSG had come thrice close to scoring. But it was a Neymar free-kick that broke the deadlock in the 20th minute before the Brazilian scored again two minutes later getting to the end of Mbappe’s delightful pass.
He would complete his hat-trick with another free-kick late into the match, a same curler into the right top corner.
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) October 3, 2018
PSG added two more in the opening half with Cavani scoring his goal from a deflected shot in the 37th minute before Di Maria added a fourth in the 41st minute, scoring from Thomas Meunier’s floated cross as the French champions went into the break with four-goal already scored.
They came close to scoring many more as play resumed but for once did Borjan seemed unbeatable until the 70th minute when Mbappe, who looked like he’d forgotten how to score after making a splash of earlier chances, finally found the net. It was a beautiful move starting with Neymar and involved Juan Bernat before the 19-year-old applied the finishing touches with a tap-in from six yards out.
Four minutes after him, Red Star, playing their first match in the competition, scored of what eventually turned out to be a consolation goal. Marko Marin planted a shot right into the top corner from his team’s first goal-scoring move in the match.
But it was Neymar, who put the cherry on the cake with a brilliant free-kick, his second of the night, to complete the rout and with it his hat-trick. Cavani had scored one more shortly after the Brazilian was substituted, but the goal was ruled-out to offside
Meanwhile, in the other match, Weston McKennie scored from a header two minutes away from the final whistle to give Schalke 04 their first win over Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League Group D clash.
Image Source: NY Daily News