Neymar proved Paris St Germain’s hero on his return to the Ligue 1 champions’ side with a spectacular injury-time winner against Strasbourg.
The Brazilian has work to do to win back the support of the club’s fans after a summer of intense speculation about his future but, with the transfer window closed, Thomas Tuchel included him in the team for the first time this season.
And his dramatic late intervention was certainly a good start in regaining the supporters’ affections as he secured a 1-0 win for PSG.
After 92 minutes of frustration for Neymar and his team-mates, the world’s most expensive footballer met Abdou Diallo’s cross with an overhead kick that flew into the net off the inside of a post.
Neymar had the ball in the net again moments later but it was ruled out by VAR with Angel Di Maria offside in the build-up.
Not since Caen held PSG to a goalless draw at the end of the 2017-18 season had Tuchel’s side failed to find the back of the net and they looked like having to settle for a point again against Strasbourg.
Strasbourg were the only club not to lose a league game to the dominant capital outfit last season and, despite having not yet won this term, their organisation and defensive solidity saw them match PSG.
Neymar scored for Brazil in an impressive display against Colombia last week and Tuchel put him straight into the side as well as giving a debut to goalkeeper Keylor Navas, signed from Real Madrid.
Neymar had his first opening in the 15th minute but was unable to connect with the ball at the near post.
Strasbourg were not just sitting back and Navas was called into action in the 19th minute to make a save from Ludovic Ajorque.
PSG were certainly not peppering the Strasbourg goal. Neymar had another chance in the 55th minute but shot wide, and eight minutes later new signing Mauro Icardi was introduced in place of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.
As the hosts’ frustration grew, Navas was again called upon to keep out Ajorque.
Neymar then hit a post direct from a corner with only four minutes left, but his biggest contribution was yet to come.
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