Brazilian star forward Neymar was on a roll in UEFA Champions League as he scored a hat-trick on Wednesday to take Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in the Round of 16 with a 5-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir at Parc des Princes in their Group H encounter.
Other than Neymar’s three, PSG’s superstar striker Kylian Mbappe scored the other two goals to become the youngest player to cross the landmark of 20 Champions League goal. He overtook Lionel Messi.
The match, which had started on Tuesday, had been suspended after the players walked off the field alleging racist abuse from the fourth official Sebastian Coltescu in the 14th minute.
It was only after repeated requests from UEFA that both the teams agreed to take to the field the next day. .
Players from both sides took a knee around the centre circle before the restart on Wednesday. Webo, who was shown a red card on Tuesday, was allowed to take his place on the away bench as his red card was suspended while UEFA is investigating the incident.
“We are tired, we don’t want to go through this again,” said Mbappe, who overtook Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to become the youngest player to reach 20 Champions League goals after a brace in the match.
“Of course, I am proud of what was done. We were not disappointed not to play. We made that decision. We were proud,” the French international added. “A lot of things were said but, in fact, there’s nothing better than actions.”
Neymar opened the scoring for the Ligue 1 champions by beating Carlos Ponck and curling home, before doubling the lead in a sensational counter-attack involving Rafinha and Mbappe.
The Brazilian striker could have finished his hat-trick in the first half, but let Mbappe take a 42nd-minute penalty to end his a year-long wait for a Champions League goal.
The Brazilian didn’t wait too long for his third, firing from 20 yards five minutes into the second half. Mehmet Topal scored for Basaksehir seven minutes later before Mbappe sealed a comfortable win for PSG 5-1 in the 62nd minute.
Neymar also set a record in the match to become the first player to complete 20 goals for two clubs in the history of the tournament, a feat that neither Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo have achieved.
With IANS inputs