Paris (AFP) – Edinson Cavani and Neymar both scored as Paris Saint-Germain claimed a convincing 3-0 victory over a disappointing Bayern Munich in their heavyweight Champions League clash in the French capital on Wednesday.
PSG got off to a dream start as their other Brazilian summer signing Dani Alves gave them the lead inside 90 seconds at the Parc des Princes and they never looked back.
Cavani’s sweeping first-time strike just after the half-hour mark made it 2-0 before Neymar completed the scoring in the second half as Bayern went down to their heaviest defeat since losing to Barcelona by the same score in the semi-finals of this competition in May 2015.
The result leaves the French club top of Group B with the maximum six points from two games, eight goals scored and none conceded. They are on course to win the section — Bayern are level on three points with Celtic, who won at Anderlecht.
For PSG this was a chance to measure themselves against one of the continent’s traditional powers in their biggest European match since their humiliating exit in Barcelona last season.
In that regard the evening was a resounding success for Unai Emery’s team, although the German club were some way short of their usual standards.
“The main thing is the three points, but it’s also important for me that the fans enjoy the match and seeing us win against a top-level side,” said Emery.
The match also saw Cavani and Neymar feature together for the first time since their disagreement over who should take a penalty in a league game against Lyon 10 days previously.
This time there were no such disputes, and both men could celebrate contributing to the final outcome.
“I tried to put out the best possible team, and if I am criticised for that, I’ll accept it,” Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti, who left Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben on the bench, told German Sky.
“The reason for the defeat is the first goal.”
Bayern have been among the critics of PSG’s spending policy after a summer which saw them notably spend a world-record 222 million euros ($264 million) to sign Neymar from Barcelona.
The Brazilian is reportedly being paid more than three million euros a month in Paris, and Bayern supporters had that in mind as they unfurled a pointed banner prior to kick-off.
Complaining about match tickets costing 75 euros, it read: “We are not Neymar. Ticket prices must be reasonable.”
– Alves with opener –
It would have been easier to swallow paying that price if their team had won, but they fell behind in the second minute and never recovered.
Neymar was allowed to cut in from the left before picking out Alves, who arrived unmarked in the area to take a touch and finish past Sven Ulreich, standing in for the injured Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal.
Javi Martinez came closest to equalising for Ancelotti’s side with a half-volley from the edge of the area that was tipped over by Alphonse Areola, but the hosts were able to soak up the pressure and hit on the break.
Cavani shot just wide after being fed by Kylian Mbappe and those two combined for the second goal in the 31st minute, Mbappe again teeing up Cavani for a superb first-time finish high into the net and his 10th goal this season.
Bayern were stunned, and a combination of the ‘MCN’ then almost brought a third, with Neymar laying off Mbappe’s pass for Cavani, whose effort was saved.
Things did get worse for the visitors in the second half and they conceded again in the 63rd minute, with Neymar poking home from inside the six-yard box as Martinez failed to clear following good play by Mbappe.
That was Neymar’s sixth goal for PSG and the 18th in total from the ‘MCN’, with the promise of many more to come.