Penalty drama in the past for scintillating PSG

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (left) and Paris Saint-Germain's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani celebrate after Neymar scored a penalty kick during the French L1 football match Paris Saint-Germain vs Bordeaux, on Sept 30, 2017.
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar (left) and Paris Saint-Germain's Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani celebrate after Neymar scored a penalty kick during the French L1 football match Paris Saint-Germain vs Bordeaux, on Sept 30, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS • It appeared on Saturday that Neymar and Edinson Cavani have settled their squabble over penalty-taking duties.

French club Paris Saint-Germain were awarded a penalty in the first half of their Ligue 1 match against Bordeaux , the first since a row between the two South American forwards over spot-kick duties overshadowed a 2-0 win against Lyon a fortnight ago.

Both players wanted the responsibility from the spot, leading to reports of a rift. Cavani won out on that occasion but failed to convert.

Coach Unai Emery later assured that he would rotate the penalty taker in order to prevent the situation from occurring again.

This time it was Neymar who stepped up against Bordeaux and after slotting home, he celebrated by hugging Cavani, suggesting all was well at PSG.

The Brazilian also curled in a brilliant 30-metre free kick after just five minutes at the Parc des Princes before sliding in Cavani to double the lead seven minutes later as PSG hammered previously unbeaten Bordeaux 6-2.

"For me, the important thing with penalties is to score them," said Emery. "They both can take penalties. The decision is down to those two. We've already spoken about it internally."

Neymar's father described the dressing room conflict that came to be known in France as "Penalty-gate" as "exaggerated".

"We saw in the game against Bayern Munich that there is no problem at all," said Neymar Sr.

PSG right-back Thomas Meunier, who scored with an excellent side-footed finish to make it 3-0 on 21 minutes, added: "It was arranged with the coach before today. If there had been another penalty, it would have been for Edi (Cavani)."

Julian Draxler volleyed in a superb fifth goal before half-time and Kylian Mbappe added another on 58 minutes, while Younousse Sankhare netted and Malcom scored a late penalty for Bordeaux, as PSG pulled three points clear of defending champions Monaco at the top of the French league.

"We don't need to send a message, we're just concentrating on ourselves," said Mbappe.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 02, 2017, with the headline 'Penalty drama in the past for scintillating PSG'. Print Edition | Subscribe