Neymar booed but scores stunner as PSG edge Strasbourg


Neymar was given a hostile reception by Paris Saint-Germain supporters but scored a brilliant volleyed winner in a 1-0 victory over Strasbourg on his return to action.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel did not select Neymar while there was uncertainty over the Brazil international's future, amid speculation he was trying to engineer a return to Barcelona.

The close of the transfer window ensured the 27-year-old would remain with the Ligue 1 side for the immediate future and he appeared at club level for the first time this season on Sunday (AEST).

Neymar was booed by large sections of the home support whenever he touched the ball but he had the last word in injury time with a stunning overhead kick to give PSG the points.

A lack of match sharpness for Neymar was apparent, with the forward having not played this season barring two appearances for Brazil in the international break, but he still carried PSG's primary attacking intent.

The forward had the hosts' best chance of the first period on the half-hour mark when he miscued a lobbed effort from the edge of the penalty area with Strasbourg goalkeeper Matz Sels scrambling to get back.

PSG goalkeeper Keylor Navas, on his debut, had earlier made a crucial save from Ludovic Ajorque when he dived to his right to keep out a low drive.

Shortly before half-time Neymar jinked inside and curled a spectacular effort just over the crossbar, while Strasbourg defender Lamine Kone should have done better with an unmarked header from a free-kick moments later.

A warmer reception was reserved for striker Mauro Icardi, signed on loan from Inter, after Tuchel introduced him for his debut just after the hour mark but the day belonged to Neymar.

The Brazil forward anticipated a cross from Abdou Diallo and executed a spectacular mid-air volley which gave Sels no chance.

Neymar, who had the ball in the net again shortly afterwards only for VAR to determine he was in an offside position, did not acknowledge PSG's fans as he quickly left the pitch when the full-time whistle blew.

What does it mean? Neymar has bridges to build with fans

After the saga of a failed transfer back to Barcelona it is clear Neymar has some way to go before he will be accepted by PSG's supporters.

A PSG ultra group accused Neymar of being "disrespectful" and condemned the way he "humiliated" the club by hankering for a move away.

The best way for Neymar to take the sting out of any lingering resentment is to do his talking on the pitch. Goals, assists and moments of magic will make his life easier at the Parc des Princes.

Impressive Kone stands out

Ivory Coast centre-back Kone marshalled the Strasbourg backline superbly. He was defensively disciplined, positionally superb and his example almost did enough.

Choupo-Moting draws a blank

With injuries to Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, PSG's frontline has been admirably led by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in recent matches. The former Stoke City forward failed to make an impact against Strasbourg before Neymar saved the day with a piece of brilliance.

What's next?

PSG host Real Madrid, one of the clubs linked with Neymar during the transfer window, in their opening UEFA Champions League fixture on Thursday (AEST). Their next Ligue 1 match is away to Lyon on September 23.

Winless Strasbourg are next in action on September 21 when they welcome Nantes to the Stade de la Meinau.

Source Omnisport