Ligue 1: Neymar guides PSG to big opening win

The invincible Neymar scored a goal and three assists in a 5-0 win over defending champions Paris Saint-Germain in French league Clermont on Saturday.

Lionel Messi also contributed with two goals and one assist.

Neymar troubled Clermont with his moves and skills. In the seventh minute, he jumped over a low cross from Achraf Hakimi, which was defended by Alidu Sedu for the first time.

Two minutes later, Pablo Sarabia squared the ball back for Messi, who flicked it towards Neymar. The Brazilian forward controlled the ball before hitting the bottom corner.

PSG took advantage of a quick break in the 26th when Neymar found Achraf Hakimi, who fired in the top corner.

Neymar scored the third goal with a pinpoint free kick for Marquinhos, who led home in the 39th.

Neymar fed Messi at the stroke of halftime, whose shot was saved by goalkeeper Mori Diav.

PSG slowed down a bit in the second half against a Clermont side that had avoided relegation last season.

Messi still holds a 4-0 lead in the 80th. He played a couple of times with Neymar before netting with a low strike.

The Argentine superstar sealed the victory in the 86th with a goal from Leandro Paredes with an overhead kick, chested from the top.

“What I love is the team’s desire to win back the ball very quickly, play with a lot of intensity,” said PSG coach Christophe Gaultier. “Leo reacts very quickly when possession is lost, and Nye has also made efforts in his defensive position to help the team stay very compact and win the ball.” Chasing a record 11th league title, PSG recalled groin-stricken Kylian Mbappe and Renato Sanches, who were signed on Thursday and lacked match fitness.

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PSG dropped some high-profile players from their matchday squad who reportedly want to drop: Mauro Icardi, Julian Drexler, Ander Herrera, Idrissa Guay, Rafinha, Thilo Kehrer and Levin Kurzawa.

Meanwhile, Crepin Dietta and Sofiane Diop scored for a weak Monaco in a 2–1 win over Strasbourg.

In a clash between the contenders for the European spot, Dyta opened the scoring in the 43rd with a powerful volley from the edge of the box. The Senegalese winger could have added another goal in the 48th goal but Strasbourg goalkeeper Matz Sells saved his chip.

France Under-21 international Diop doubled the lead by converting a rebound in the 53rd when Sales deflected a distracting cross from Gelson Martins.

Strasbourg forward Habib Diallo pulled back in the 65th with a head in a cross from Thomas Delaine.

Monaco and Strasbourg finished third and sixth respectively last season.

Sales limited the damage by denying Martins in the 35th, removing a close-range effort from Jean Lucas in the 61st, and saving a downward header from substitute Magnus Aquileche in the 85th.

Monaco goalkeeper Aleksandar Nubel kept the win after stopping a point-blank shot from Adrian Thomasson in injury time.

We had a chance to go 3-0 and 4-0,” said Monaco coach Philippe Clement. “It’s a matter of experience. It’s normal with young players, they should learn lessons, they should gain experience in such situations.” Monaco recalled suspended Kevin Woland and Aleksandr Golovin, injured Takumi Minamino, Benot Badyashile and Myron Bodu and an ailing Kaiyo Henrique.