Neymar is back among the goals in our PSG player ratings after Ligue 1 kick-off versus Caen

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Paris Saint-Germain kicked off their Ligue 1 title defence with a 3-0 victory against Caen on Sunday night.

Brazil superstar Neymar needed only 10 minutes to strike upon his first competitive club start since February 26’s foot injury against Marseille, visiting goalkeeper Brice Samba’s poor clearance was to blame. French midfielder Adrien Rabiot converted Argentina winger Angel Di Maria’s low centre to make it 2-0, 10 minutes before the break.

A piece of history came at the death when United States substitute Timothy Weah tackled the dawdling Samba and the ball went in. This earned club legend George’s son his first Ligue 1 goal.

Here are our player ratings from new head coach Thomas Tuchel’s top-flight bow:

PSG (4-3-3)

Gianluigi Buffon – 6: For the first time since 2001, the Italy icon was not decked in the colours of Juventus. Experienced an effortless debut, being forced to face just one attempt on target.

Colin Dagba – 6: The 19-year-old kept it simple against Caen, with a pass accuracy of 97 per cent pointing to his precision, in the absence of injured Brazil right-back Dani Alves and with Belgium marauder Thomas Meunier on the bench as he gets up to speed.

Marquinhos – 6: Led the way with two aerial challenges won as he stood up to the physical threat of Caen striker Malik Tchokounte.

Thiago Silva – 6: Brazil veteran wasn’t tested at all as PSG basked in 64-per-cent possession. Comfortable reintroduction to the French top flight.

Stanley N’Soki – 7: A really busy performance in a left-back slot that remains up for grabs. Made a trio of tackles and clearances, two interceptions and one cross. Promising from the teenager.

Antoine Bernede – 7: The 19-year-old was composure personified. Boasted the best pass accuracy of any outfield PSG starter (97.8 per cent) from 92 passes.

Lassana Diarra – 5: The experienced part of the PSG midfield underwhelmed. Only made one tackle and his pass accuracy of 90.1 per cent was only the 10th best for his club. Talented teenagers are putting him under pressure.

Adrien Rabiot – 7: A tumultuous summer that contained turning down a World Cup standby spot and repeat links to Barcelona ended with a tap-in. Should remain a key player at PSG, under Tuchel.

Christopher Nkunku – 7: Was gifted an early assist to Neymar by Caen goalkeeper Brice Samba’s awful clearance. His four dribbles was the most of anyone from the hosts.

Neymar – 7: The only member of PSG’s standout attacking trio to start. Effortlessly rolled in the first and then began a slow acclimation. Much more is to come – if Real Madrid don’t come knocking.

Angel Di Maria – 7: Showed great drive to burst into the penalty area and tee up Rabiot. Was a steady performer with two shots, two key passes and two dribbles.

SUBS

Moussa Diaby – 6: Made little impression during more than 20 minutes on the pitch.

Julian Draxler – 5: Needs to make more of the chances given to him by Tuchel, especially with a return to Schalke mooted.

Timothy Weah – N/A: A combination of the goalkeeper and back post denied him at the start. Kept plugging away and reward for his efforts came with Samba’s second glaring mistake of the night.

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Kylian Mbappe ready to show off World Cup form with PSG

David Cooper 11/08/2018
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Kylian Mbappe wants to sweep the winning feeling France generated at the World Cup into Paris Saint-Germain’s quest for an eighth Ligue 1 crown.

The French champions launch their title defence against Caen at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.

Neymar is set to return after missing the final three months of last season with a foot problem before recovering in time to lead Brazil in Russia.

Mbappe’s performances at the World Cup overshadowed those of his PSG team-mate’s and the 19-year-old forward was named the competition’s best young player after producing four goals.

“It was a really incredible feeling. We did it!” Mbappe told PSG TV.

“At the start, you just want to enjoy the experience, but the further you go, you start thinking about winning it. It’s the World Cup, something unique.

“You realise pretty quickly that you have to make sacrifices to win something so special. And I have no problem making sacrifices to win.

“But now we’re back in Paris with new objectives, even if we always want to win. In Russia it was with the national team and now I’m back with my club side – but we still have to keep on winning.”

PSG have had a quiet summer in the transfer market with Gianluigi Buffon their only new signing and the veteran Italy goalkeeper is backing Mbappe to become one of the greats of the game.

“Kylian has something more than the others,” Buffon told PSG’s official club magazine.

“I hope that he will remain humble and maintain his desire to progress and make sacrifices. If Kylian does that, then he will leave his mark on football history and write some incredible pages in sporting history.

“If he can stay grounded and focused on his objectives he can become as great as Pele, Diego Maradona, Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.”

Thomas Tuchel signed a two-year deal to replace new Arsenal boss Unai Emery as PSG manager and will be making his competitive debut for the club against Caen.

The Normandy side secured their top flight status on the final day of last season by getting an unlikely draw with the champions.

However, Caen have also changed managers since then, replacing Patrice Garande with the inexperienced Fabien Mercadal.

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Kylian Mbappe will 'leave his mark on football history' says new PSG teammate Gianluigi Buffon

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Kylian Mbappe starred for France at the World Cup.

Gianluigi Buffon has sung the praises of new Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe following the 19-year-old’s starring role in France’s World Cup triumph this summer.

Mbappe scored four goals, including in one France’s 4-2 win in the final over Croatia, to win the tournament’s Best Young Player award.

Buffon, who joined PSG this summer, says the young Frenchman has the potential to be one of the game’s greats.

“Kylian has something more than the others,” he told PSG’s official club magazine. “I hope that he will remain humble and maintain his desire to progress and make sacrifices.

“If Kylian does that, then he will leave his mark on football history and write some incredible pages in sporting history.”

While the two are yet to play together as teammates, they have played against each other before, when Mbappe inspired Monaco to a Champions League semi-final berth in 2016-17 before Buffon’s Juventus put an end to their run.

But the young star served enough notice of his talent in that tie, with Buffon saying his then teammate Andrea Barzagli revealed just how difficult Mbappe makes life for opponents.

Buffon consoled Mbappe after their Champions League encounter in 2017.

Buffon consoled Mbappe after their Champions League encounter in 2017.

“When I spoke with Andrea, one of my great friends, at the end of the match, he told me: ‘Gigi, in my 20 years as a professional football player, I have rarely seen somebody so fast and so quick even with the ball – I had trouble marking him’,” the legendary goalkeeper recalled.

“These words are not trivial. Andrea, when he is focused and on song, is a great defender.”

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