Marquinhos mad by claims that Mbappe plays better without Neymar

Marquinhos has thrown away theories by which Kylian Mbappe functions better for Paris Saint-Germain when Neymar is absent.

Neymar has not featured for PSG since February 10 on account of a leg injury, and Mbappe took centre stage within the Brazilian’s absence when tormenting Barcelona within the Champions League six days later.

Mbappe produced one among the performances of his career so far in netting a hat-trick within the 4-1 win for PSG at Camp Nou , but Marquinhos feels the Frenchman is even better alongside Neymar. When asked by RTL if Mbappe may be a better player without Neymar within the side, Marquinhos said: “No, we will not enter these stories.

“I see people talking, but we’ve to prevent with nonsense like that. We always want to possess the simplest players with us. If you ask Kylian, i feel he also prefers when he has Ney next to him. Kylian was there and did the proper thing [against Barcelona], but other players also had importance during this game.”

“When the team is playing well, that’s when the individuals begin even more. “It (the performance against Barca) boosted his confidence. Scoring three goals at Camp Nou are some things vital for him and for us. Everyone has understood what he’s capable of. We are here to assist him the maximum amount as possible. he’s a pacesetter on the sector together with his personality and his qualities. He had an exceptional match.”

The Brazil superstar was extremely low after learning an injury against Caen within the Coupe de France, taking to Instagram to invite protection from opposition players. He has worked hard on his fitness over the past month and PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said on Friday that there was an opportunity Neymar might be within the squad to face Barcelona on Wednesday.

Neymar is keen to face his former club, and an area on the bench might be the likely option provided the 29-year-old trains overflow subsequent few days.

Leonardo: “This should be forbidden!”

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo declared war on Premier League and Bundesliga clubs last week for poaching PSG’s young players.

Bayern Munich came certain particular criticism because the Brazilian cited the case of Tanguy Nianzou, who featured regularly for PSG last term only to depart on a free transfer to hitch up with the side who defeated the Parisians in August’s Champions League final, courtesy of a goal by one among their own academy graduates in Kingsley Coman.

Since moving to Germany, Nianzou, who was referred to as Kouassi in France, has played only 21 minutes, albeit largely due to physical problems. Referencing German and English clubs specifically, Leonardo told France Bleu: “They ask the families of the young players, they struggle to convince them by making grand promises once they are only 15. It should be forbidden!”

Brexit has essentially solved the difficulty of Premier League clubs taking over players so young, but the issues presented by Bundesliga sides remain.

PSG have certainly lost a plethora of players to Germany, with Dan-Axel Zagadou (Borussia Dortmund), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen) and Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig) three of their other more notable names to form the move in recent years.

“The problem is that they think elsewhere it’s paradise,” Leonardo said. “We say: ‘PSG have lost a youngster’ but sometimes i feel that it’s not PSG that loses, but the children who lose PSG. There are many young players who want to return back.”

In truth, first-team opportunities for PSG’s current academy players are still limited. Diaby, Nkunku and Nianzou had a couple of chances in Paris, but none had guarantees of continued involvement, even after bright displays within the varsity .
Obviously, Leonardo would be advised to urge his own house so as before pointing fingers at others but he did make a crucial point about the movement of young players within the game today and his anger is unlikely to subside any time soon.

Bild are now reporting that PSG’s 17-year-old centre-back Soumaila Coulibaly will join Dortmund within the summer.

Dijon 1 – 6 PSG

Kylian Mbappe and Sarabia shined as Paris Saint-Germain easily crushed Dijon 6 – 1 in the Coupe de France quarter-finals.

An own goal from Wesley Lautoa opened the scoring for PSG after just 48 seconds, but Thomas Tuchel’s team were answered back by Mounir Chouiar in the 13th minute. Mbappe made it 2 – 1 before half-time. Later on, Thiago Silva and Sarabia made sure of progression to the last four.

PSG’s fifth goal came as Coulibaly inadvertently diverted Mbappe’s shot into the net before the French wonderkid laid an injury-time second on a plate for Sarabia to round off a rout.

Mitchel Bakker, making his full debut after coming off the bench in the previous round, supplied the cross that broke the lock inside the first minute, Lautoa inexplicably sending his low delivery beyond Runar Alex Runarsson.

However, Dijon responded by capitalising on a PSG error, Ander Herrera losing possession in midfield and Chouiar roaming to the edge of the area before finding the bottom-right corner with a precise shot.

Silva presented Jhonder Cadiz with a huge chance to put Dijon ahead before half-time, but the Venezuelan international shot wide when  he was clean through on goal.

Mbappe then showed him how it should be done, confidently giving PSG an advantage after being played down the right side by Draxler. Silva increased PSG’s lead with a decent header from Sarabia’s corner after.

Sarabia also scored by converting on the rebound following an effort from Mbappe, who atoned for a horrible miss with a deflected lob over Runarsson and then presented the former Sevilla player with a 91st-minute goal.

PSG will visit Amiens on Saturday before the away match against Dortmund three days later.

Meunier: “I don’t fear Haaland”

The Belgian international says that while the Bundesliga team is quite dangerous going forward, they can be definitely be exploited defensively.

PSG’s full-back, Thomas Meunier, said that he does not fear the challenge posed to his team by Borussia Dortmund’s wonderkid striker Erling Haaland.

Since moving to Borussia in the January transfer window from Red Bull Salzburg, the 19-year-old has been in astonishing form, scoring seven times in just three matches and adding another for good measure in a 3 – 2 DFB Pokal loss over Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

The teenager has scored in each game he has played for Dortmund, despite playing less than 200 minutes of football for his new team, and with a Champions League meeting against PSG coming at the end of the month, he will have the opportunity to prove himself on further stages after scoring eight goals for Salzburg in the group phase.

Meunier, who has been in PSG since moving from Club Brugge in the summer of 2016 and has experienced the disappointment of falling out at the last-16 stage of the competition in every season, says that Haaland is not a player who is particularly worry for the Ligue 1 leaders.

“Fear him? I don’t know him especially. He’s got very good numbers, which underline that Dortmund score an enormous number of goals, but they’re also a team that concedes a lot of goals.”

“On paper, PSG can beat any team. It’s up to us to ensure that we qualify.”

Before the encounter with the Germans, PSG have a Sunday derby match-up with Lyon to negotiate then a Coupe de France quarter-final away to Dijon. They will then travel to Amiens and finally face Dortmund on February 18.

PSG are hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s loss to Manchester United, when they won 2 – 0 at Old Trafford before choking to a 3 – 1 defeat at home.

Lille 0 – 2 PSG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neymar scored two goals as Paris Saint-Germain claimed a 2 – 0 victory over Lille to extend their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to 10 points.

Having opened the scoring with an amazing strike in the 28th minute of Sunday’s encounter at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Neymar doubled his score with a penalty early in the second half.

After netting his 2nd goal, the Brazilian superstar appeared to pay tribute to Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who was reported to have died in a helicopter crash on Sunday.

Lille felt harshly treated by the VAR for PSG’s second goal, though they were fortunate Mauro Icardi and Kylian Mbappe missed big chances to increase the visitors’ lead as their 14-match unbeaten home league run came to an end.

Luiz Araujo’s long-range effort forced Keylor Navas into a save nine minutes in as Lille started pretty strong.

But, a moment of brilliance from Neymar gave PSG the lead, the Brazilian star combining with Marco Verratti before curling the ball into the top-right corner.

Mbappe could have made it 2-0 if not for Gabriel’s block, but Lille might have been level had Presnel Kimpembe not got a toe to Victor Osimhen’s shot.

With Tanguy Kouassi having denied Osimhen a tap-in, Mike Maignan made a brave stop to keep out Mbappe at the other end moments later. PSG were awarded a penalty for a handball by Reinildo. Lille’s frustration was founed by the VAR not deeming there to have been a foul by Idrissa Gueye in the build-up, before Neymar squeezed the penalty beyond Lille’s goalie.

Icardi could have done better with a poor header and Mbappe failed to score as PSG looked to add to their lead, but the visitors settled for a two-goal lead, while Loic Remy saw a stoppage-time consolation disallowed for offside.