Analysis as Neymar is at slick best but James Rodriguez is garbage in PSG's win over Bayern Munich

In this 'In Focus' we examine the performance of PSG star Neymar and his South American counterpart Rodriguez

Alex Rea
by Alex Rea
27th September 2017

article:27th September 2017

Neymar starred as Paris Saint-Germain sent out a statement of intent with an impressive 3-0 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.

It took PSG less than two minutes to break the deadlock in the Group B clash against Bayern, as world-record signing Neymar teed up fellow Brazilian Dani Alves to hammer home.

Bayern piled on the pressure but failed to take their chances, before Edinson Cavani finished a sweeping counter-attack with an exquisite strike into the top corner.

Unai Emery’s men finished off their visitors in the 63rd minute when Neymar pounced after Kylian Mbappe had bamboozled the Bayern defence.

Here we analyse the performance of Neymar and Bayern Munich attacker James Rodriguez…



Goals – 1

Assists – 1

Shots – 4

Shots on target – 2

Touches – 78

Key passes – 2

Passes – 43

Dispossessed – 3


Goals – 0

Shots – 1

Shots on target – 0

Touches – 41

Passes – 26

Key passes – 1

Dribbles – 1

Dispossessed – 3



No PSG player had more touches of the ball than Neymar and he was also leading the way on shots with Cavani, which gives you a strong indication of his influence.

In truth, Mbappe stole the show but on the counter PSG are absolutely frightening with the French teenager combining telepathically with both Cavani and Neymar countless times.

Alves’ opener was smooth as silk from Neymar as he registered another assist meaning he has more than any other player since he moved to Europe in 2013. He should have scored more than the one, though, his shooting wild at times but in terms of getting PSG on the front foot, he was direct and always a threat.

Neymar and Mbappe celebrate

Neymar and Mbappe celebrate


Ancelotti opted to play with Rodriguez and Muller as his two wide men in a 4-2-3-1 and to be honest neither provide genuine width in comparison to Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery.

The Colombian was operating on the left but you could see his temptation to drift inside repeatedly and he was getting caught in congested areas as a result.

Clearly, he’s far more suited to the No10 role because he looked completely average whenever he did manage to get on the ball. He was brought off at half-time for Kingsley Coman which probably tells you everything you need to know in regards to his imprint on this game.

Alves watches Rodriguez carefully

Alves watches Rodriguez carefully



2nd min ASSIST: Slick stuff from Neymar who incisively cuts in from the right and is allowed to drift inside to weight a perfect pass into the path of Alves who has made a clever run into the box and smashes home the opener.

21st min CHANCE: PSG’s rapid slingshot counters are a feature already and Neymar is slipped in with acres of space but his first touch is careless and Bayern stopper Ulreich can gather the ball. Should have scored.

36th min CHANCE: Simply sublime from Mbappe who gets the ball just on the halfway line, drops his shoulder and accelerates away from Sule, he crosses low for Neymar who delightfully flicks the ball back for Cavani but his effort is tame and Ulreich saves comfortably with his right leg.

49th min CHANCE: Another rapid counter and this time Neymar and Mbappe combine for the latter playing the Brazilian into space but he can’t find his balance he slices horribly wide. Who is there to console him? Cavani.

62nd min GOAL: Neymar on the scoresheet but it’s all about Mbappe. Alves sprints clear from deep, he feeds Mbappe after he intelligently steps in and then out to find space. The teenager completely sells Alba in the box with a dummy and his shot is well saved only for Neymar to pounce on the rebound from yards out to finish.

Cavani congratulates Neymar after his goal

Cavani congratulates Neymar after his goal


10th min CROSS: The Colombian beats both Verratti and Alves on the left wing and he sprints to the byline before dinking a dangerous cross over Areola only for Rabiot to awkwardly clear for a corner.

19th min SHOT: Does well to tee himself up on the edge of the box and he connects sweetly with a left-footed volley but it takes a slight deflection and goes wide – no corner is given, though.

33rd min CHANCE: Scintillating corner whipped in by Rodriguez and he finds Martinez in space and he has to score but instead directs his header wide.

45th min SUB: Kingsley Coman is brought on at half time in a switch for Rodriguez.

Rodriguez beats both Alves and Verratti to clip in a cross

Rodriguez beats both Alves and Verratti to clip in a cross



The Brazilian made the switch to Paris in a bid to further his claim for the Ballon d’Or throne and while he was impressive tonight the stage was all Mbappe’s.

Still, a goal and assist was about what he deserved but in reality he should have scored more with some horribly skewed efforts providing a mixed evening.



All eyes were on the 26-year-old and Neymar, the former foes at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, but those casting their glance at Rodriguez would have been best to look away.

Not the type of impact a player of that quality and value is expected to deliver in games of this magnitude and he suffered the embarrassment of being brought off at half-time.


All statistics are compiled using



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