Mbappe: “We need to be professional and win games!”

The young French superstar believes his side can only improve after they made a great start in the Uefa Champions League.

 

PSG were planning a comfortable win at Anderlecht on Wednesday, according to Kylian, and they managed to achieve much more than that with a 4 – 0 UCL success.

Les Parisiens destroyed Celtic with 5 – 0, and comfortably beaten the German giant Bayern Munich in their previous games, before Anderlecht became the last victim of Mbappe, Neymar and Cavani’s dark magic.

All three wizards netted in Belgium, with Kylian scoring a record breaking 8th goal as a teenager, giving him many reasons to head back to Paris happy.

“Not every game can be like the one against Bayern. We came here to win well and that’s what we did. We’re happy and go home with the three points. We can always do better and there are lots of games to come, but we need to be able to control our weaker moments as well as our stronger moments.

We haven’t been made to pay yet, but we need to be as vigilant as we can. We need to be professional and win games. It’s extremely satisfying to have kept three clean sheets in the Champions League so far. I intend to keep that going for as long as possible, but I realise that things will get increasingly difficult as we progress in the competition.” – said Mbappe.

PSG are currently 3 points ahead of Bayern in Group B, and have 3 matches remaining in the group stage.

PSG 6 – 2 Toulouse

Neymar scored twice, made two assists and won a penalty as PSG came from behind to beat Toulouse 6-2.

 

Neymar was outstanding in his first game at the Parc des Princes as Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat Toulouse 6-2 in Ligue 1, the hosts scored four times in the last 15 minutes following a red card for Verratti.

After being forced to watch the 2-0 victory over Amiens from the stands following his world-record €222million move from Barcelona, the Brazilian scored twice, supplied two assists – one for a stunning scissor kick from Layvin Kurzawa – and won a penalty to ensure the PSG faithful’s wait to see him on home turf was worthwhile.

Neymar – clearly emotional prior to kick-off as a minute’s silence was held for the 14 people who were killed in the two terror attacks in Catalonia this week – was heavily involved in the early exchanges, but PSG were behind when the unmarked Max Gradel slammed a volley home in the 18th minute.

After twice being denied by the woodwork, Neymar, who scored on his debut in the 3-0 win at Guingamp last week, equalised with a poacher’s finish before setting up Adrien Rabiot to give PSG the lead in the 35th minute.

Unai Emery’s side stepped off the gas in the second half and lost Verratti to a second bookable offence with 21 minutes remaining, but, after Neymar was fouled by Andy Delort in the box, Edinson Cavani drilled home a penalty.

Thiago Silva headed into his own net to set up a tense finale, but substitute Javier Pastore’s stunner was outdone by an acrobatic effort from Kurzawa.

Neymar then capped the victory with a lovely individual finish as PSG maintained their 100 per cent record to join Monaco and Saint-Etienne at the summit.

Blaise Matuidi made his debut for Juventus on Saturday following his €20million switch to Turin and returned to Paris for an official send off, but on the pitch PSG quickly focused on the task at hand and Neymar grazed the top of the crossbar from 12 yards in the 14th minute.

However, PSG found themselves behind when Gradel met Kelvin Amian’s right-wing cross with a powerful volley that flew beneath Alphonse Areola.

The woodwork again denied Neymar when the impressive Alban Lafont tipped his header behind via the post, but the Brazilian reacted first after the Toulouse goalkeeper kept out Rabiot to slot home from six yards. Neymar then set up Rabiot, who drilled a fine finish into the bottom-right corner from just outside the box to complete the turnaround.

PSG were unable to open the visitors as freely after the restart and their task was made harder when Verratti, booked for going through the back of Alexis Blin in the opening period, caught Christopher Jullien late and was shown a second yellow card by referee Amaury Delerue.

Still, the hosts extended their advantage when Cavani thumped home a penalty awarded after Delort sent Neymar to ground with 15 minutes remaining.

The stage was set for a tense finish when Silva inadvertently headed a corner past Areola 12 minutes from time, but any nerves did not last long.

Pastore replaced Thiago Motta prior to Verratti’s dismissal and he curled a sublime shot into the top-right corner to restore PSG’s two-goal cushion.

It got even better for the hosts less than two minutes later when Neymar’s arrowed corner was smashed beyond Lafont by a majestic volley from Kurzawa.

Neymar finished the job himself, getting away from Jullien and spinning clear of Issa Diop before beating Lafont low to the goalkeeper’s left, ending a remarkable night in Paris in fitting fashion.

 

Ligue 1: Guingamp 0 – 3 PSG

Neymar marked his debut with a goal and an assist as Paris Saint-Germain defeated Guingamp 3-0.

 

Having taken a watching brief for PSG’s opening-day win over Amiens last weekend, Neymar made his Ligue 1 bow at the Stade de Roudourou on Sunday after his world-record €222million transfer from Barcelona.

The Brazil star took his place on the left-hand side of a front three alongside Cavani and Angel Di Maria and looked lively throughout against opponents who were happy to sit deep and defend in numbers until PSG found a breakthrough thanks to Jordan Ikoko’s bizarre own goal.

Right-back Ikoko, a PSG academy graduate, had been the focus of unfamiliar attention in the build-up as the most likely man to directly oppose Neymar but his downfall early in the second period was all of his own making as his mis-directed pass back towards goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson was too strong and crept in via the upright.

Not to be upstaged, Neymar had a more direct influence on PSG’s second as his delightful throughball released Cavani to coolly beat Johnsson.

And the most expensive footballer on the planet was not done there as he tapped home into an empty net with eight minutes remaining following good work from Cavani.

Inevitably all eyes were on the Brazilian, whose first contribution was to loft an ambitious pass from deep towards the run of Di Maria which proved just too heavy.

Neymar helped carve out the first real chance in the 15th minute, combining neatly with Thiago Motta to free Cavani but Johnsson saved with his legs to deny the Uruguayan.

The first notice of Neymar’s threat was served five minutes later as he jinked inside on his right foot before blasting over from 20 yards, and he almost created the opener as his teasing cross was thumped against the angle of post and crossbar by an unmarked Marquinhos.

Cavani stung the palms of Johnsson with a free-kick as PSG continued to dominate before Neymar had half-hearted appeals for a penalty waved away as he went down under minimal contact from Etienne Didot.

It was Didot who fired narrowly off-target early in the second period to remind PSG this was not a one-man show, but the hapless Ikoko soon grabbed the spotlight in farcical circumstances.

Neymar’s throughball was cut out and ran to Ikoko but his pass back to Johnsson was heavy and wide of the goalkeeper, who had to stretch with his foot and could not prevent the ball rolling in off the left-hand post.

Cavani wasted two presentable opportunities to double PSG’s lead soon afterwards but he did not have to wait long to score his second goal in as many league outings this season as he ran onto Neymar’s sumptuous pass and slotted beyond Johnsson.

Another excellent pass from the ex-Barca man deserved better than Di Maria’s weak finish straight at the keeper as PSG looked to kill the game off – a feat they duly managed as Cavani returned the favour, teeing up Neymar for a simple finish from six yards to cap a wholly satisfactory debut in fitting fashion.

Official: Neymar joins PSG!

Paris Saint-Germain have des the world transfer record by completing the €222 million signing of Neymar from Barca on a five-year contract. 

 

The Brazilian had been continually linked with a move away from Camp Nou over the summer, and had declined to clarify his own future as the PSG rumours grew stronger. 

And after weeks of denials, mixed messages and reports, he has finally been confirmed as the Ligue 1 club’s latest signing on Thursday night.

“Paris Saint-Germain are very pleased to announce the arrival of Neymar Jr,” the Parisiens said in a statement on their official website.

Neymar will wear the number 10 shirt at Paris Saint-Germain. 

Trophee des Champions: Monaco 1 – 2 PSG

Dani Alves made a competitive debut to remember as Paris Saint-Germain struck a psychological blow in Ligue 1 by coming from behind to defeat Monaco 2-1 and win the Trophee des Champions.

 

PSG’s audacious pursuit of Barcelona superstar Neymar has been dominating the headlines in recent weeks, but it was Brazil team-mate Alves, signed on a free transfer from Juventus, that announced himself to the club’s faithful in stunning fashion in Saturday’s curtain raiser in Morocco.

The evergreen 34-year-old, playing in the unfamiliar position on the right of a front-three, blasted in a long-range free-kick shortly after the restart to cancel out Djibril Sidibe’s expertly taken first-half opener.

And Alves’ brilliant cross was headed home by Adrien Rabiot just after the hour to secure PSG a fifth consecutive Trophee des Champions victory.

The result puts into focus the challenge Monaco, who saw late penalty claims for handball against Rabiot dismissed, face in defending their shock Ligue 1 title victory this season.

Leonardo Jardim’s men swashbuckled their way to the championship last term, but have lost Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva and Tiemoue Bakayoko during the close-season, while the jewel in their attacking crown Kylian Mbappe is being heavily linked with a €180million move to Real Madrid.

PSG coach Unai Emery will be fully aware that the pressure is on this season to at a minimum regain the Ligue 1 title, but, with or without Neymar, they appear fully equipped to do just that.

Mbappe was impressive throughout for Monaco and the France forward had the ball in the back of the net in the fifth minute, but the goal was rightly ruled offside.

At the other end, Rabiot combined with Layvin Kurzawa before teeing up Alves, whose half-volley Danijel Subasic spilled before the Monaco goalkeeper recovered to deny Edinson Cavani.

The lively nature of the match continued and Jemerson made a superb block to deny Cavani sweeping in Kurzawa’s centre at the end of a lightning PSG break.

PSG began to stamp their authority on the match, but their failure to take advantage proved costly as Monaco opened the scoring with a fine breakaway goal on the half hour.

Monaco gained possession in PSG territory and debutant Youri Tielemans’ exquisite throughball was collected by Sidibe, who provided an equally brilliant dink over Alphonse Areola.

Radamel Falcao had the opportunity to double the lead when he met Sidibe’s teasing right-wing cross with a powerful header that cleared the crossbar.

But PSG were level in stunning fashion in the 51st minute when Alves smashed in a 30-yard free-kick to the left of Subasic that barely span as it nestled in the goal.

Rabiot then muscled in front of Kamil Glik to head wide from an Alves centre, but the same combination proved more fruitful in the 63rd minute.

Javier Pastore released Alves on the right of the box and he hung up a perfect cross for Rabiot to hammer his header past Subasic.

PSG were grateful to Areola for making a low save down to his right to keep out Guido Carrillo’s powerful downward header, while Thiago Silva made a fine block from Thomas Lemar’s follow-up.

Monaco had late claims for a penalty waved away when Rabiot seemingly controlled a Lemar cross with his arm, but Emery’s men withstood a late surge to once again begin their season with silverware.

ICC: PSG 2 – 3 Juventus

 

Juventus recorded a thrilling 3-2 victory against PSG thanks to a goal from Claudio Marchisio.

 

A second-half brace from Marchisio helped Juventus to a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain at the International Champions Cup.

Gonzalo Higuain produced a classy finish on the stroke of half-time to give the Serie A champions a lead at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

But a Goncalo Guedes goal, set up by the impressive Angel Di Maria, saw PSG level early in the second half on Wednesday.

Marchisio scored superbly from 20 yards in the 62nd minute, but Javier Pastore levelled once more for PSG.

However, Juve would not be denied a third time as Marchisio converted from the penalty spot for the match-winner in the 89th minute.

Marco Verratti and Di Maria, both linked with moves from PSG, started, while Dani Alves began on the bench for the clash against his former club.

Juve made an energetic start and Paulo Dybala should have opened the scoring in the fourth minute.

The Argentina international cut in from the right before curling a shot just wide as he aimed for the far corner.

PSG slowly built into the clash, Blaise Matuidi squandering a good chance from a cross before Di Maria forced a diving save from Gianluigi Buffon.

Dybala then went close twice approaching the half-hour mark, forcing Alphonse Areola to save a free-kick before curling a set-piece just wide.

PSG forward Edinson Cavani had the ball in the back of the net in the 33rd minute, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.

Juve looked more dangerous throughout the opening 45 minutes and they deservedly went ahead on the stroke of half-time.

Higuain played a one-two with Dybala before clipping a finish past Areola and into the bottom corner to make it 1-0.

Juve made 10 changes at the break – with only Buffon staying on – while PSG introduced eight new substitutes.

It was a frantic start to the second half, Stefano Sturaro almost doubling Juve’s lead as he struck the post after a Mattia De Sciglio pass, while Giovani Lo Celso forced Buffon into a save before PSG equalised in the 53rd minute.

Di Maria and Layvin Kurzawa exchanged passes down the left before the former poked a pass to the back post, where Guedes tapped in.

A crucial touch from Buffon denied Jese Rodriguez before Marchisio restored Juve’s lead in style.

Kurzawa gave the ball away cheaply and Moise Kean ran at the PSG defence before playing a pass across the area, Marchisio producing a superb first-time finish from 20 yards.

But PSG responded again, a brave Pastore header from a Kurzawa cross making it 2-2 in the 80th minute.

However, Marchisio would score the winner, striking a penalty down the middle after Kean was brought down by Presnel Kimpembe.

Uli Hoeneß: “€222m for Neymar is a sign of weakness.”

Bayern Munich’s president Uli Hoeneß feels it is an admission of failure for a club to spend big in the transfer market, as Paris Saint-Germain continue to be linked with an astonishing €222 million swoop to sign Neymar from Barcelona.

The Ligue 1 giants are ready to smash the world transfer record by meeting the enormous release clause in the Brazil international’s contract, although Barca defender Gerard Pique suggested via a Tweet on Sunday that the 25-year-old has been convinced to remain at Camp Nou.

The attacker is yet to confirm his future has been decided, though, and Hoeneß believes such a transfer would be a bad sign.

“This is a sign of weakness,” he said of the outlays being made across Europe. 

“If I have to spend a lot of money to achieve nothing, it is more of a sign that I have not worked as well somewhere else. And that’s why I cannot be interested in spending so much. 

“Not the most expensive transfer is the best, but the one who does the most. 

“I think that is why, in this shark basin – €100m, €200m – we must find our own way.”

Bayern parted with a Bundesliga record fee of €41.5m to capture Corentin Tolisso from Lyon and brought in Niklas Sule from Hoffenheim for a reported €20m.

But they have also snared potential bargains in the form of Serge Gnabry, a cut-price arrival from Werder Bremen, James Rodriguez, signed on loan from Real Madrid, and free transfer Sebastian Rudy, as the team prepares to try and secure a sixth successive Bundesliga title. 

RB Leipzig sprung a surprise to finish second to Bayern last season, but Hoeneß expects a more predictable rival to vie for the championship in 2017-18.

“Leipzig will play a good season again, but the first challenger will surely be Borussia Dortmund,” he said.

Bayern were without a sporting director in coach Carlo Ancelotti’s first campaign in charge last term, after failing to replace Matthias Sammer, who stepped down in July 2016.

According to Hoeness, though, they are now close to making an appointment.

“We will announce a sporting director within the next six weeks,” he said.

“I’ve already said that (executive chairman) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and I have been looking around, and there have been some talks taking place.”

Alexis joining PSG?

The Arsenal star was in Paris on Friday for talks with PSG’s sporting director and chief executive ahead of a prospective €50 million move to Ligue 1.

The French club are growing increasingly confident of signing the Arsenal star for a €50 million fee inclusive of add-ons following preliminary talks with the Gunners. PSG say “nothing is done yet” regarding a move for Sanchez but the early signs from France suggest it is likely to happen.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has insisted that the club’s stance has not changed and their Chilean talisman will not be sold this summer, but contract talks have not progressed as hoped and Sanchez has shown no sign of committing to an extension which would mean he is available to leave on a free transfer when his deal at Emirates Stadium expires next summer.

Wenger is currently in China where Arsenal have almost completed their pre-season trip and spoke on Thursday about where Sanchez will play in the Gunners forward line next season, insisting that he will fit into the team alongside club-record summer signing Alexandre Lacazette.

Sanchez’s agent Fernando Felicevich has used interest from Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain to increase the salary demands for his client with Pep Guardiola’s side confident of signing the 28-year-old throughout the summer.

Felicevich, previously dubbed ‘the king of South American football’ by Forbes magazine, is regarded as a tough negotiator and his negotiation tactics were recently described as ‘dishonest’ by an intermediary for Brazilian club Vasco da Gama.

It’s understood that Felicevich was present in the meeting at Le Royal Monceau with his business partner Matias Aldao, while PSG had their chairman and chief executive Nasser Al-Khelaifi representing them alongside Henrique.

Al-Khelaifi has a close relationship with Wenger and the two are in regular contact regarding football matters which sees the Frenchman take part in TV work for beIN Sports, the media network founded by the man dubbed ‘the most powerful figure in French football’.

Alexis scored 24 goals in the Premier League last season and admitted while back home in Chile that it is his “dream” of playing in the Champions League – a competition that Arsenal aren’t involved in this season following last campaign’s fifth-placed finish.

“The truth is that the decision doesn’t depend on me,” said Sanchez. 

“I have made my decision, but now we wait for a response from Arsenal. It depends on them, I have to wait to know what they want.

“My idea is to play and win the Champions League, it is a dream I have had since I was little.”

Arsenal’s stance regarding Sanchez has not changed and they were confident earlier in the week that the player would return to pre-season training at London Colney following his holidays, along with the likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin, on July 30.

Roma 1 – 1 PSG (Pen: 3 – 5)


Paris Saint-Germain overcame AS Roma on penalties at the International Champions Cup.

Dani Alves made his debut for PSG as the Ligue 1 giants edged Roma on penalties at the International Champions Cup on Wednesday.

Alves, who signed for PSG earlier this month despite being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, started at right-back in the 1-1 draw at Comerica Park.

Marquinhos gave PSG a 36th-minute lead after a somewhat scrappy first half, but Roma were the better side in the second.

Umar Sadiq levelled proceedings on the hour-mark and Roma had two penalty shouts turned down in a lively second half before penalties were needed to separate the teams.

Only Gerson failed to convert in the shoot-out, with Marquinhos scoring the decisive penalty in the 5-3 success.

While Alves made his debut for PSG, who are linked with Barcelona star Neymar, recruits Hector Moreno and Lorenzo Pellegrini started for Eusebio Di Francesco’s Roma.

Both teams consistently broke down in the attacking third in the opening exchanges, although Jese Rodriguez had a great chance in the 21st minute.

The forward was put through but was unable to get the ball under control and the opportunity was wasted.

PSG took a deserved lead nine minutes prior to half-time.

Thiago Motta tried to play a one-two with Jese but went down under a challenge, the ball falling to Marquinhos to put away from inside the area.

The Ligue 1 giants continued to threaten to finish the half, Lucas Moura shooting straight at Roma goalkeeper Alisson after a smart Javier Pastore run.

Both teams made changes at the break and it took time for the substitutes to settle in Detroit.

Alves was perhaps fortunate not to give away a penalty in the 57th minute, the Brazilian bringing down Diego Perotti with a slide tackle in the area, only to collect the ball afterwards.

Roma levelled on the hour-mark through 20-year-old forward Sadiq.

A pass over the top from Gerson saw Sadiq put in behind and the Nigerian finished through Alphonse Areola’s legs from an angle.

Daniele De Rossi, who came off the bench, was the next to go close, the midfielder’s 25-yard free-kick tipped over by Areola in the 65th minute.

The lively Umar was then brought down by Presnel Kimpembe in the area, but penalty pleas were again dismissed.

Blaise Matuidi had three late chances for PSG, including blazing over from close range and missing two one-on-ones as a shoot-out followed.

After the first five penalties were converted, Gerson failed to hit the target with his spot-kick as Roma were beaten.

 

Di Maria wants to stay at PSG


 

Angel Di Maria insists that he wants to stay at Paris Saint-Germain despite admitting to difficulties working with Unai Emery last season.

The Argentinian international played 43 times in all competitions in 2016-17 but struggled for form in the early half of the campaign in particular, scoring just once in his first 19 Ligue 1 appearances.

Di Maria has been linked with Inter during recent weeks, despite the Serie A club’s sporting director, Piero Ausilio, suggesting that his wage demands would be too high.

But the 29-year-old has no desire to leave Parc des Princes and believes he has become accustomed to the demands of his head coach in the last few months.

“For me, there’s no doubt about it. I want to stay,” he said. “But, for the club, I don’t know. The reality is that my family are well and I’m happy in Paris.

“I know that not everything went well last season. At first, I didn’t quite understand what the coach was asking me. Then we gradually got to know each other and I think people have seen the change in the last few months. I hope I can reproduce that this year.”

PSG claimed a double of Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue trophies in Emery’s first season, but they lost their league title to Monaco and suffered a Champions League exit against Barcelona after a 6-1 hammering in the last-16 second leg.

Di Maria says regaining their domestic crown and battling to reach the final in Europe’s top competition are their primary goals for next term.

“Like every other year: win everything,” he said when asked about PSG’s objectives. “Last season, we won both cups but we lost the championship and we were knocked out of the Champions League.

“This year, we’ll try to go as far as possible in the Champions League and maybe reach the final. Then we have to win back the title and to defend the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.”

Di Maria hopes that Dani Alves, who joined on a free transfer after leaving Juventus, can take PSG a step closer to their first Champions League triumph.

“I’ve only played against him. But I’m happy with his signing as he is a player with huge qualities, who will bring something extra to the team and allow us to improve further,” he added.