May 18, 2021

Neymar returns to the eye of the hurricane | sports

Neymar returns to the eye of the hurricane | sports

"It's not very professional. He falls to get a yellow one and then he runs like never before. "The anger of Jürgen Klopp towards Neymar, the great protagonist of the Wednesday evening and Liverpool's executioner (2-1) in the Champions League, He toured the auditorium of the Parc des Princes like a smoke bomb. The German coach of the English team had just given a clear defeat against PSG that takes him away from the classification for the knockout stages of the Champions League. An uncomfortable situation for the recent European runner-up. His anger at the controversial Brazilian forward, author of the winning goal, summed up the feeling of frustration in the English ranks.

So solid in England (with five goals conceded in 13 league games), the Liverpool defense broke into a thousand pieces in the first part of the duel, stunned by the speed of Neymar and its connection on the left side with Kylian Mbappé, which became in his best partner in the field under the baton of Thomas Tuchel, successor of Unai Emery on the PSG bench. The Brazilian winger, nonexistent in the play of the first French goal, of Bernat, was decisive in the second to be the origin and the conclusion of a backlash express, helped in his offensive by Mbappé again on the left side. Neymar scored the 31st goal of his career in the Champions League (21 with Barcelona and 10 with PSG), becoming the best Brazilian striker in history in the European tournament, with one more than Kaka. And above all, Neymar was for the first time decisive in a Champions League duel since his arrival at the club in the French capital for 222 million euros in the summer of 2017 from Barca.

So far, Neymar had never imposed his law against major European rivals with the Parisian shirt. In his first season, he peppered Celtic Glasgow and Anderlecht, with two goals each time, in the group stage. In this second, scored a hat-trick against the Red Star of Belgrade in a win (6-1) that remains under the magnifying glass of the French prosecution for an alleged match-fixing. He had only scored one goal in six games against big-time opponents such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Napoli or Liverpool. "What if Neymar was the new Ibrahimovic, strong against the weak, weak against the strong?" Asked the newspaper L'Équipe in its Wednesday edition.

His performance against Liverpool, marked by his accelerations, his dribbling and his provocations, erases a bit the bad memory he left to Parisian fans last season after his tremendous disappointment in the first leg of the round of 16 against Madrid in the Santiago Bernabéu (3-1). Neymar observed how his skids to get fouls and his way of wasting time bewildered his English rivals. "Seeing tonight (yesterday) Neymar was shameful. If he continues like this throughout his career, he will be remembered for this (his swimming pool) instead of being a great player, "said Jamie Carragher, formerly of the Reds. "It is not that the PSG did not deserve to win, but we were close to achieving it and a small obstacle was the 500,000 interruptions in the second half," Klopp protested, pointing to former Barça player.

With three shots on goal and a goal, Neymar was three times more decisive than Liverpool, who only found Buffon's nets once thanks to a penalty from his captain, James Milner.

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