‘MCN’ shine for five-star PSG

New Straits Times - - Sport -

GLAS­GOW: Ney­mar, Kylian Mbappe and Edin­son Ca­vani all scored as Paris Saint-Ger­main be­gan their Cham­pi­ons League cam­paign with a 5-0 thrash­ing of Celtic in Glas­gow on Tues­day.

Brazil­ian Ney­mar con­tin­ued to pay back his €222 mil­lion (RM1.1 bil­lion) world record trans­fer fee with his fifth goal in five games to put PSG in front be­fore he set up Mbappe to make it 2-0.

Edin­son Ca­vani then con­verted from the penalty spot five min­utes be­fore the break and things got worse for Celtic in the sec­ond half.

Mikael Lustig’s 83rd-minute own goal and Ca­vani’s an­gled header two min­utes later heaped more mis­ery on the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons, who could yet find them­selves in trou­ble with UEFA af­ter a fan man­aged to make his way onto the pitch to aim a kick at Mbappe dur­ing the first half.

“The most dif­fi­cult thing here is to cope with the rhythm and in­ten­sity they play with and, of course, with the sup­port they have,” PSG coach Unai Emery said.

“I think my team showed a lot of char­ac­ter. It was a real team ef­fort and they showed a real con­trolled ap­proach to the match, which I am re­ally pleased with.”

The em­phatic win pro­pels PSG to the top of Group B on goal dif­fer­ence from Bay­ern Mu­nich, who beat An­der­lecht 3-0 and who the French side host in a fort­night.

The na­ture of the vic­tory was also a real state­ment of in­tent from this sum­mer’s big spenders who are de­ter­mined to make a big­ger im­pres­sion than ever be­fore on Europe’s elite club com­pe­ti­tion.

Fol­low­ing last sea­son’s col­lapse to Barcelona in the last 16 — a tie in which Ney­mar starred for the Cata­lan gi­ants — this Euro­pean cam­paign was al­ways go­ing to be about a test of PSG’s met­tle rather than their flair.

How­ever, the French side’s su­per­stars — and in par­tic­u­lar their front three, chris­tened the ‘MCN’ in France — showed no signs of fear in­side the in­tim­i­dat­ing at­mos­phere of Celtic Park as the gulf in class be­tween the sides showed from the start.

“De­fen­sively we were just too far off them and se­condly I was dis­ap­pointed in how we re­tained the ball. We didn’t keep the ball for long enough,” Celtic man­ager Bren­dan Rodgers said.

“If you do that against what is ar­guably the best team in the world just now they will pun­ish you.” AFP

AFP PIC

Paris Saint-Ger­main’s Ney­mar (cen­tre) cel­e­brates with team­mates Kylian Mbappe (left) and Edin­son Ca­vani af­ter scor­ing their open­ing goal against Celtic in the Cham­pi­ons League Group B match at Celtic Park in Glas­gow on Tues­day.

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