PSG Hit With Mbappe, Cavani Injury

 

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe will be out for four weeks and Edinson Cavani for three weeks after both came off injured in a Ligue 1 match against Toulouse on Sunday, the French champions have confirmed.

French World Cup-winning star Mbappe limped off after hurting his left hamstring during a trademark sprint in PSG’s 4-0 win at the Parc des Princes.

The injury means he will miss PSG’s opening Champions League group game, which is set for September 17 or 18.

He is also set to sit out three league matches as well as France’s Euro 2020 qualifiers at home to Albania and Andorra early next month.

READ ALSO: I Tried To Copy Messi And LeBron, Says Griezmann After Barca Brace

Fellow forward Cavani came off with a hip injury in the same game and PSG confirmed the Uruguayan will be out for three weeks, meaning he could be ready in time for the start of their Champions League campaign.

The injuries come as uncertainty continues to surround Neymar.

The Brazilian’s desired move back to Spain has yet to materialise with just a week remaining before the European transfer window closes.

However, even if he stays, the world’s most expensive player is suspended for the first three games of this season’s Champions League.

AFP

PSG Showed There’s Nothing To Fear Without Neymar, Says Mbappe

Paris Saint-Germain’s French striker Kylian Mbappe passes Pogba during the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 football match between  United and PSG at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on February 12, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Kylian Mbappe said Paris Saint-Germain showed they need not be afraid of being without Neymar or Edinson Cavani as the French club won 2-0 at Manchester United in their Champions League last 16, first leg on Tuesday.

“We need to stop with the scare stories. People need to stop being afraid. Of course, Neymar is hugely important and Cavani is fundamental to us, but football is played on the pitch and we showed that today,” Mbappe told RMC Sport.

The World Cup-winning forward scored PSG’s second goal on the hour at Old Trafford after Presnel Kimpembe’s 53rd-minute opener as Thomas Tuchel’s team took firm control of the tie before the second leg next month.

It was an outstanding performance from PSG in the absence of the injured Neymar and Cavani — the world’s most expensive player for one, as well as the French champions’ all-time top scorer.

READ ALSO: Cavani Likely To Miss PSG’s Champions League Clash With United

In their absence, PSG still succeeded in inflicting the first defeat on United since the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their interim manager.

“In the second half we came out with the best intentions because we knew they wanted to step up the rhythm and especially get a goal at home,” added Mbappe, whose goal was his 23rd of the season in all competitions.

“We are happy, but it’s only half-time in the tie and we need to continue preparing well because I think in the last 20 minutes we dropped off a bit physically.

“We have three weeks now to make sure we are ready for the return and ensure we qualify.”

Coach Tuchel said his team improved as the game went on, while the hosts suffered after seeing both Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial go off injured.

“We lost too many easy balls in the first half but the second half was really excellent,” Tuchel said.

“We deserved to win, and to do so here at Old Trafford just now, I congratulate my team – but it’s only half-time and we still have to play at the Parc des Princes.”

AFP

Cavani Likely To Miss PSG’s Champions League Clash With United

Cavani react after getting injured during the French L1 football match between PSG and FC Girondins de Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, on Saturday, February 9, 2019. ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP

 

Edinson Cavani is likely to miss the first leg of Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League encounter with Manchester United, coach Thomas Tuchel told French television on Sunday.

“There is no good news for Edi this morning, there are still examinations today at our training centre, the club will speak a little later, but in my opinion, the news is not going to be very good,” Tuchel said.

“It will be very difficult for him to play.”

The Uruguayan centre-forward has scored 17 times in the French league and twice in the Champions League this season.

READ ALSO: US World Cup Defender Clavijo Dies At 63

PSG visit Old Trafford on Tuesday for the first leg of their encounter in the round-of-16, the stage at which the French champions went out in the last two seasons.

Cavani suffered a leg injury on Saturday, probably when blasting home the 42nd-minute penalty that gave PSG a 1-0 victory in Bordeaux. He did not play the second half.

“There is a very small hope,” Tuchel said. “We always hope but the first exams are not good.”

He said the club would make a statement later in the day.

PSG are already missing superstar striker Neymar sidelined until at least April with a foot injury.

Tuchel said there was good news for another of his key players, midfielder Marco Verratti who started against Bordeaux after three weeks out with an ankle problem.

“Verratti can play and will play,” said the German coach.

“I’m worried because we are missing key players,” said Tuchel. “For the big games in the Champions League, it is absolutely necessary to have key players with a lot of experience”.

AFP

Cavani Bags Hat-Trick As Perfect PSG Thrash Monaco

Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani scores a goal during the French L1 football match Monaco vs Paris Saint-Germain on November 11, 2018 at the “Louis II Stadium” in Monaco. VALERY HACHE / AFP

 

Thierry Henry’s disastrous start as coach of Monaco continued on Sunday as Edinson Cavani’s VAR-assisted hat-trick helped Paris Saint-Germain to an easy 4-0 win that saw them extend their perfect record in Ligue 1 this season.

Neymar netted a penalty to complete PSG’s victory, as they made it 13 wins from 13 league games under Thomas Tuchel, further stretching their start to the season that is a record in France and in Europe’s so-called big five leagues.

The result for them came after a week marred by revelations from French investigative website Mediapart that youth scouts at PSG had subjected potential signings to racial profiling for several years.

But while they go 13 points clear of second-placed Lille at the Ligue 1 summit, the club who have been their main challengers continued their deeply worrying slump, with Henry again left to look on helplessly from the touchline.

Champions in 2017, Monaco are in the relegation zone and five points away from outright safety having failed to win in six matches in all competitions since the Arsenal and France great took charge.

The principality side have now gone 16 games without a win, with this result following a 4-0 home reverse against Club Brugge which knocked them out of the Champions League.

They are on their worst run in France’s top flight in 32 years, at a time when Football Leaks claims about their Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches and the arrest of their Russian billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev on corruption charges have cast a further shadow over the club.

 Injury curse 

Henry has picked up a squad who have been cursed by injuries, and here he was missing a dozen players due either to injury or suspension at kick-off.

Belgian international Nacer Chadli lasted just 20 minutes before coming off hurt, and his replacement Jordi Mboula pulled up with a hamstring injury at the start of the second half.

The average age of his bench here was under 19, while his starting line-up featured a 17-year-old debutant in defence in Benoit Badiashile. It was little wonder, then, that PSG — themselves showing six changes following their Champions League draw at Napoli — found the going so easy.

They went ahead in the fourth minute when Neymar drove the ball across goal for Cavani to convert.

The goal was initially disallowed before being given by the Video Assistant Referee, and the same thing happened in the 11th minute when Cavani turned the ball in again after the flag was wrongly raised for an offside against Moussa Diaby.

In contrast to those two goals, a fine Julian Draxler finish in first-half stoppage time was initially given before being disallowed on review.

However, Diaby squared for Cavani to complete his hat-trick in the 54th minute, and Neymar then rolled in a penalty after Kylian Mbappe had been fouled by France teammate Djibril Sidibe.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Lucas Ocampos and Adil Rami scored as Marseille bounced back from a run of four straight defeats to beat Dijon 2-0 on an emotional afternoon at the Velodrome.

A minute’s silence was held before kick-off in memory of the eight people killed when two buildings collapsed in the southern French city on Monday.

The result lifted Marseille up to sixth in the table, back to within three points of third-placed Montpellier, who beat them 3-0 last weekend.

Bordeaux were held to a goalless draw at home by Caen, while Rennes drew 1-1 with local rivals Nantes.

AFP

Cavani, Neymar Strike As PSG Recover From Madrid Defeat

Cavani, Neymar Strike As PSG Recover From Madrid Defeat
Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani (L) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar Jr react at the end of the football match against Strasbourg at The Parc des Princes on February 17, 2018. CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / AFP

 

Edinson Cavani struck twice as Paris Saint-Germain beat Strasbourg 5-2 on Saturday to relieve some of the pressure on the runaway Ligue 1 leaders following their Champions League defeat at Real Madrid. 

Strasbourg struck early through Jean Eudes Aholou, but PSG hit back courtesy of a Julian Draxler effort before two goals in as many minutes from Neymar and Angel Di Maria put the home side in control.

Stephane Bahoken pulled one back midway through the second half as Strasbourg threatened an unlikely comeback, but Cavani’s league-best 22nd and 23rd goals of the season ensured victory for Unai Emery’s team.

“The victory was important after the match on Wednesday. We win all our home matches,” said Emery, whose side last dropped points at the Parc des Princes in May.

“We have to show we can maintain this level of play against bigger teams, without meaning any disrespect to Strasbourg.”

He added: “We spoke about (the Madrid defeat) in the dressing room. Of course, they remember the match from Wednesday. That’s normal so it’s important to speak about positive things. We feel very strong at the Parc.”

Captain Thiago Silva and Di Maria were recalled after Emery faced criticism for dropping them for the 3-1 loss in Madrid, and the coach was whistled by a section of home supporters unhappy with the Spaniard’s decisions in midweek.

Neymar was largely overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain on Wednesday, but the Brazilian could have struck within 90 seconds in Paris when he was denied the legs of Strasbourg goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidja.

The visitors, who inflicted PSG’s first defeat of the season in early December, sprang another surprise by grabbing the lead on six minutes following a clinical counter-attack.

Neymar was guilty of overplaying and lost possession allowing Strasbourg to break with great effect, the move finishing off with Aholou steering home a precise first-time finish from Kenny Lala’s cross.

PSG responded quickly though as an intended pass through from Neymar was diverted straight into the path of Draxler who swept low into the far corner for his first league goal in over three months.

– Quick-fire strikes –

The hosts promptly surged ahead as Neymar, picked out lurking on the far side of the box by Giovani Lo Celso, exhibited terrific composure and a deft touch to eliminate two defenders and tap home after his initial effort was kept out by Oukidja.

A dreadful lapse of concentration from Pablo Martinez then allowed Di Maria to pinch the ball from the centre-back within seconds of the restart and drill beyond Oukidja for PSG’s third.

Oukidja shovelled away a powerful Cavani header and Di Maria fluffed a glorious chance to extend the lead after Dani Alves had squared for the Argentine, but Bahoken gave Strasbourg a lifeline as he guided home from the edge of the box on 67 minutes.

However, Cavani allayed fears of another late PSG collapse with a clever chipped finish over the advancing Oukidja, and the Uruguayan struck again 11 minutes from time after latching on to an assist from Neymar.

Elsewhere, Saint-Etienne secured a third win in four outings with a 1-0 victory at Angers, Montpellier climbed to fifth after a 1-1 home draw with Guingamp, and Troyes moved out the relegation zone thanks to a 1-0 win over Metz.

Diafra Sakho netted his first league goals for Rennes following his January move from West Ham in a 2-2 draw away to Caen, with the hosts left to rue a pair of missed penalties.

Defending champions Monaco eased to a 4-0 home win over Dijon on Friday as Pietro Pellegri eclipsed Kylian Mbappe to become the youngest player in the club’s history.

The win, which saw Pellegri — at 16 years, 10 months and 30 days — beat Mbappe’s previous record set in December 2015, kept second-placed Monaco 12 points behind PSG.

Lyon will look to arrest a three-match losing streak away to Lille on Sunday, while third-placed Marseille can return to within a point of Monaco if they beat a resurgent Bordeaux at the Velodrome.

AFP

 Cavani Breaks Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Goal-Scoring Record

Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani (L) scores his 157th goal with Paris Saint-Germain to become top scorer in the club’s history during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Montpellier (MHSC) at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on January 27, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE

Edinson Cavani broke Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s all-time goalscoring record for Paris Saint-Germain on Saturday, while Neymar scored twice in a 4-0 thrashing of Montpellier.

The Uruguay striker tapped in his 157th PSG goal in the 11th minute at the Parc des Princes to spark wild celebrations, having levelled the Swede’s previous mark 10 days ago.

“It’s something magnificent, I’m very emotional,” Cavani told Canal+.

“In life, you’re not always given so much warmth. I’m very content, very happy to be here.”

Neymar, on his return to the starting XI after a thigh injury, slotted in a 40th-minute penalty, before following Angel Di Maria’s strike with his second goal to wrap up the win.

Unai Emery’s men are now 11 points clear at the Ligue 1 summit from second-placed Lyon, who visit Bordeaux on Sunday.

“I think it was an individual statistic that all of the fans and all of us wanted for him,” Emery said of Cavani’s mark.

“This is an important moment in the history of PSG, but as he said — we want more.”

Cavani started up front alongside Neymar, with Kylian Mbappe still recovering from injury.

Having failed to score in consecutive games, the 30-year-old didn’t have to wait long to break the record.

Neymar freed Adrien Rabiot down the left-hand side and Cavani turned in the midfielder’s cutback from close range to score his 27th goal of the season.

He celebrated by throwing his shirt into the crowd, with the referee shaking his hand in acknowledgement of the achievement before booking the striker.

Cavani’s 157th goal came in his 229th match for the capital club since joining from Napoli for 64 million euros ($79.5 million) in 2013 after Ibrahimovic managed 156 in 180 games during his four seasons in Paris before leaving for Manchester United in 2016.

He almost grabbed number 158 just minutes later, but Portuguese defender Pedro Mendes managed to toe the ball away from the onrushing striker.

– Neymar returns after jeers –

Neymar had been booed by the Paris crowd on his previous appearance when he scored four goals in an 8-0 thrashing of Dijon but took a late spot-kick that could have given Cavani the record.

The controversy from 10 days ago was put to bed before half-time, though, as when the hosts won a penalty, Cavani handed the ball to Neymar for the Brazilian to confidently slot home PSG’s 2,000th goal at the Parc des Princes.

Montpellier, who had the best defence in the French top flight before this game, managed to slow the pace down after the interval and midfielder Junior Sambia drew an uncomfortable save from home goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.

But PSG finished off the away side midway through the second period, as the right-back, Thomas Meunier raced clear before squaring for Argentinian Di Maria to pick out the bottom corner and score his seventh goal in 10 games.

Neymar thought he had completed a double, but his effort was ruled out for handball.

The 25-year-old did net his second goal shortly afterwards, though, and he had Cavani to thank as his strike partner dinked the ball past Montpellier keeper Benjamin Lecomte for Neymar to tap in from inside the six-yard box.

The Brazilian has now scored 26 goals since joining from Barcelona in the close season.

Lyon, who inflicted just a second league defeat of the season on PSG last weekend, can cut the gap back to eight points on Sunday when Marseille also host Monaco in a crucial match in the battle for the top three and Champions League qualification.

AFP

Tearful Neymar Blasts ‘False’ PSG Rift Stories

An emotional Neymar on Friday called for an end to “false stories” about his alleged frosty relations with Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery and striker Edinson Cavani.“I want to ask you to stop creating stories which are not true,” Neymar told a press conference following Brazil’s 3-1 international friendly victory over Japan in Lille, before leaving in tears.

“I want to say what I think. I’m totally realistic and what I don’t like is these false stories about me, there is nothing bothering me at my club.

“I’m here because I asked to be here. It’s going really well (in Paris), I’m really happy here and motivated. I’m a player who wants to give everything on the pitch.

“What bothers me is everyone creating stories about me, with my coach and with Cavani. These things are not real, it’s not true.”

Neymar moved from Barcelona in August for a world record 222 million euros ($264 million) and said he immediately sat down with Emery to plan their future together.

“I came to Paris with the agreement of my coach (Emery),” said Neymar.

“When I arrived here we had a meeting. I told him I wanted to help him and he told me he would help me to achieve my goals in my career and the team’s objectives.”

Neymar and strike partner Cavani reportedly fell out over penalty-taking duties in September after the Uruguayan refused to let the former take a spot-kick in PSG’s 2-0 win over Lyon.

Both players subsequently played down the incident, but rumours continue to swirl claiming the Brazilian is unsettled in the French capital.

Neymar, who scored a penalty but also missed a spot-kick in the win over Japan, admitted he had also spoken to national team coach Tite about the matter.

“I just want to be happy, I’m not here to make or create trouble with anybody. I know my role on the pitch and I do what my coach asks me to do,” he said.

“I had a chat with (team coordinator) Edu and Tite because these things are hurting me, every day there are these stories.”

“I’m a human being, I cry, I wake up in a bad mood… I want to apologise for my mistakes in my life,” he added.

“When you’re being watched by everybody you’re expected to be perfect and I’m not. I’m 25 years old and I’m learning. I’ve made mistakes and will continue to make mistakes but I want to be better.”

Tite, who replaced Dunga as Brazil boss in June 2016, quashed any notion that he himself had experienced run-ins with the 25-year-old striker.

“People said I had problems with Neymar, it wasn’t true. We heard that a lot and it wasn’t true,” said Tite.

“My relationship with him is the best it could be. I’m not saying this to be nice, but because it’s true.”

AFP

PSG Stun Barcelona 4-0 In Champions League Clash

PSG, Barcelona, Champions LeagueParis St-Germain (PSG) shocked Barcelona in a tough match of the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

Angel Di Maria set the League One side in the lead with a stunning free-kick, just before Julian Draxler added a second in the 40th minute of the game.

The first half ended with the hosts dominating the match.

The strong attacking force of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar failed to give visiting Barcelona any hope of victory on Tuesday night.

Instead, Di Maria curled an effort into the top corner of their visitors’ goal-post while Edinson Cavani sealed the win with a powerful fourth.

The defeat leaves Luis Enrique’s side with huge task to remain in the champions league when they host PSG in the return leg on March 8.