Mon, Dec 09, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Neymar inspires PSG to come-from-behind victory

AFP, PARIS

Kevin Volland of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, right, and Schalke 04’s Ahmed Kutucu vie for the ball during their Bundesliga match in Leverkusen, Germany, on Saturday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Neymar scored a sublime free-kick and set up another goal as Paris Saint-Germain rallied to beat 10-man Montpellier HSC 3-1 on Saturday and restore their lead at the top of Ligue 1 to eight points.

Montpellier, unbeaten at home since the opening day of the season, grabbed the lead on 41 minutes at the Stade de la Mosson when Daniel Congre’s header was diverted into his own net by the hand of midfielder Leandro Paredes.

PSG had failed to win on any of their past three trips to Montpellier and were forced into a pair of early changes as Presnel Kimpembe and Idrissa Gueye hobbled off with injuries.

However, the dismissal of Pedro Mendes on 72 minutes for a second yellow card after he scythed down Neymar proved the turning point.

The Brazilian dusted himself down and curled the resulting free-kick beyond Geronimo Rulli and into the top corner for his sixth goal this season to bring PSG level.

Neymar then slipped a ball through to Kylian Mbappe in the Montpellier area, the forward cutting inside Arnaud Souquet and lashing inside the far post to put the visitors ahead.

Neymar almost netted again from a free-kick in a similar position when his effort struck the upright, before the world’s two most expensive players combined to supply Mauro Icardi for the third goal in a seven-minute blitz.

Played into space down the left flank by Neymar, Mbappe clipped a delightful cross with the outside of his right boot for Icardi to volley home.

“It was a very difficult first half. We didn’t show our true colors, but we had a good reaction in the second half,” PSG captain Thiago Silva said. “Neymar is going to get back to his level bit by bit. He’s not there yet. He’s coming back from a significant injury. I hope he will be ready for the key phase of the season, namely March and April. He’s going to help his team.”

BUNDESLIGA

AP, MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany

Surprise Bundesliga leaders Borussia Moenchengladbach showed that they are a serious title contender by beating Bayern Munich 2-1 on Saturday with a last-gasp penalty.

Leftback Ramy Bensebaini scored both goals for ’Gladbach, who last won the title in 1977. Bensebaini headed in a corner to draw ’Gladbach level after Ivan Perisic’s volley for Bayern and then scored the decisive penalty in added time.

“That shows why we’re rightly up there,” ’Gladbach manager Marco Rose said. “We tried until the 90th minute to show what’s made us stand out in the last few weeks and months, and we got the penalty.”

Bayern had a string of great chances — 15 shots in the first half alone — but a mix of poor finishes and good goalkeeping denied the Munich team.

’Gladbach lead the league by a point ahead of RB Leipzig, who beat TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 3-1 thanks to two goals from Timo Werner.

Jadon Sancho scored twice as Borussia Dortmund thrashed Fortuna Duesseldorf 5-0.

SC Freiburg continued their unexpected chase for a Champions League spot, rising to fifth with a 1-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg, while Bayer 04 Leverkusen overtook Bayern Munich for sixth place with a 2-1 win over Schalke 04, who dropped to fourth.

Augsburg beat FSV Mainz 2-1.

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