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‘MCN’ lead five-star PSG past hapless Celtic

Thursday, September 14, 2017

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 here.

Brazilian Neymar continued to pay back his 222 million- euro 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 late last night.

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.

PSG's pressure soon paid off but Neymar's opener wasn't without controversy.

Celtic felt they should have had a free-kick in the PSG half after Scott Sinclair went down but the visitors took full advantage as Adrian Rabiot's quickly-played ball behind Anthony Ralston found the Brazilian who expertly lifted a shot over Craig Gordon.
 

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