Neymar’s Debut For Paris Saint-Germain: 5 Things We Learned

Neymar’s Debut For Paris Saint-Germain: 5 Things We Learned
Aug 14, 2017

Featured Ligue 1 Paris Saint-Germain

A resilient EA Guingamp were defeated by serial Ligue 1 winners Paris Saint-Germain in what was a tough night for the Parisians at the Stade de Roudourou. The most expensive player in the world made his bow for PSG tonight however it was EA Guingamp’s bad luck which guided Unai Emery’s side to a 3-0 victory.

Guingamp were more than a match for PSG in the first half, sitting back and absorbing countless waves of attacks from their opponents as Jimmy Briand up the other end won a number of free-kicks and corners for the home side.

Yet their efforts were soon undone after the break, with Jordan Ikoko misplacing a back pass which goalkeeper Johnsson couldn’t stop from hitting the back of the net. Soon after on the 62nd minute Edinson Cavani ran onto a fabulous through ball from Neymar and fired past Johnsson, with the Brazilian notching up his first assist for the club.

The Brazilian, who ran the show tonight, was soon teed up for a simple tap in from 6 yards and opened his account for the club to make it 3-0 as the Parisians stepped up in the second half.

So what did we learn about Neymar and PSG as they battled past Antoine Kombouaré’s men?

1) Neymar Will Seamlessly Transition Between Leagues

Having had little time to get to know his team mates since his arrival from Barcelona, Neymar was easily the best player on the pitch tonight. Starting in his usual left wing position, the 25-year-old gracefully moved around the pitch and seemed to have been granted a free roam role by Emery, the most expensive player in the world often dropped deep to start moves. Taking players on with his usual trickery, his skills were opening up space for fellow players to run onto. EA Guingamp simply had no answer to stopping Neymar, with his display seeing him pick up an assist and a goal on his debut.

2) Neymar Won’t Have It All His Way

Although the star man was the headline attraction, PSG are not short of quality players and they were quick to make their voices heard in the game tonight. At free-kicks Cavani often stepped up with Neymar taking a back seat whilst at corners the Italian maestro Marco Verrati was put on duty over the Brazilian. Argentinean winger Ángel Di María was also near by at set pieces so expect Neymar to have a battle between himself, Cavani, Di Maria, Draxler and Verrati when dead ball situations arise later on this season.

3) The Brazilian Will Miss Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi

Neymar should have had more assists tonight and his frustrations will start to show if main striker Edinson Cavani continues to miss goal scoring opportunities. Neymar played in the Uruguayan umpteen times however much like last season, the 30-year-old didn’t have his shooting boots on, missing two glorious chances which would have taken Neymar to a hat-trick of assists.

The movement of Messi and Suárez was a treat to behold and Neymar feasted on confused defences with the attacking trio constantly getting in behind of their markers. PSG were severely lacking that tonight. Di María and Cavani were largely ineffective when running in behind, with Guingamp having an easy first half with play always in front of them. It was only until the second half that the 92 time international capped Uruguayan was finally roaming about which allowed Neymar to spark into life but this needs to happen throughout the 90 minutes.

4) PSG Are Still Suffering From Last Seasons Issues

Johnsson faced a total of 21 shots tonight but only 7 of them were on target as PSG’s attacking prowess was missing again tonight. As mentioned, PSG had numerous opportunities inside the box which they skied and this may come back to haunt them as the season marches on. Against tonight’s opposition PSG were able to dictate play with 74% possession in their favour but against better sides in Ligue 1 and in the Champions League, PSG have to be clinical and take their chances. It’s easy to see why the club’s hierarchy are targeting Monaco youngster Kylian Mbappé who was so accurate in the box last season.

5) Edinson Cavani And Neymar Could Become A Formidable Force

Emery would have been pleased how his new signing and Cavani linked up tonight, with the Brazilian always poking neat passes through to the 6ft 1″ striker and this partnership does have the capability to set Europe alight this season. When you add Julian Draxler into the team, Neymar won’t have to drop deep as much and so can play off Cavani more with the ex-Napoli striker’s physical presence something to be exploited.

If Verrati and Draxler can pull the strings from midfield, with Di María helping too, Cavani’s hold up play can allow Neymar to drift off him and also in behind which offers a new dimension to their attack. Neymar likewise on the wings, as shown tonight will cut inwards and take his markers on as the Uruguayan patiently waits in the 6-yard box for a cutback. All this will mean the dangerous Di María can move more freely with defenders already occupied, making PSG’s attack one of, if not the most deadly in Europe right now.


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