Ligue 1 Show

Mbappé & Neymar: What rift?

Mbappé & Neymar: What rift?

Ligue 1 Show
Publish on 08/25 at 09:30 - S. WILLIS

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Despite plenty of speculation about a rift between them, Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappé and Neymar let their professionalism and love of the game - and above all their talent - shine as they dismantled LOSC 7-1 in Lille on Sunday night.

All eyes were on Kylian Mbappé and Neymar when the attacking duo arrived in Lille for PSG's first big test of the season. Reports in the French press had claimed that the Frenchman wants his Brazilian colleague to be sold and a potentially damaging battle of egos appeared to be brewing…  

Very quickly, though, the tension turned into smiles.

Marquinhos: 'It changed the story of the match'

"We prepared the kick off routine with the players in training yesterday," PSG boss Christophe Galtier told the Ligue 1 Show on beIN SPORTS. "And they pulled it off in extraordinary fashion this evening."

Proud club captain Marquinhos was also well pleased with a move that he felt set Paris Saint-Germain up for the record win.

"We had worked on it. It feels good when something we've practised in training works like that," said the Brazilian. "You saw how happy everyone was. It liberated us. It changed the story of the match, so it was an important goal."

Well-oiled machine

PSG were clearly in the mood, and the relationship between Neymar and Mbappé looked very healthy indeed – in a footballing sense at least.  

"There was a good understanding on the pitch tonight," said Galtier after the match. "Technically, they linked up very well."

After Lionel Messi had made it 2-0, Neymar continued his remarkable form by registering his fourth assist of the season, this time for raiding right-back Achraf Hakimi.  

And then the Brazilian got on the scoresheet himself.  

"They are much better than us!" said LOSC boss Paulo Fonseca. "They have Neymar, Messi, Mbappé - all their players are excellent. The difference is so so big."
It was 4-0 to the champions at half-time, but their appetite had not yet been sated. Neymar grabbed his second of the night on 52 minutes, this time after an unselfish feint from Mbappé…  

Galtier: 'Nobody wanted to be the hero'

Neymar saw more of the ball than any other player, and completed 64 of his 67 passes. He combined with his pal Messi more than anyone else, but there was no suggestion of favouritism, and he was happy to turn provider for Mbappé in the game's final quarter. 

"I liked the fact that they played for one another. Nobody wanted to be the hero of the evening. The players wanted the team to be the star tonight – and they did that very well," said an ostensibly satisfied Galtier. "I sensed early in the week that the players were rising above all the stories that being written in the press. We had a near-perfect week in training. And I was really keen to see what the performance would be like after a week in which everyone worked extremely well."

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