Neymar was on the scoresheet on his return to field for Paris Saint-Germain as they won this season’s Champions Trophy by beating arch rivals Marseille 2-1 on Wednesday.
The Brazilian forward saw the back of the net through an 85th minute penalty to extend PSG’s lead to two goals following Mauro Icardi’s first-half opener.
It was their first trophy under new coach Mauricio Pochettino. “I hope to win more titles, but the first will always be special,” said Pochettino.
“We deserved this victory, we payed a good match.”
The Champions Trophy is played between the league winners and the club competition winner in France.
With PSG winning both last season, Marseille had been selected as the other team as they had finished the Ligue 1 as runners-up. This season’s edition was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hopes were high for a feisty tussle in Lens after Marseille’s league win at PSG in September ended with five red cards and Neymar accusing Marseille centre back Alvaro Gonzalez of racism in the aftermath.
It was a largely boring contest in northern France, with the highlight of the match being Neymar’s return following a gap of one month and scoring after being substituted.
Meanwhile, Icardi had almost given PSG the lead with a 22nd minute tap-in, only to see the goal cancelled out for offside as forward Kylian Mbappe had strayed past Marseille’s defense line to collect Leandro Paredes’ defence-splitting pass.
Seven minutes later it was Mbappe’s turn to have a goal chalked off when he started his run too early to connect with a long pass from his captain Marquinhos.
Icardi finally put dominant PSG ahead six minutes before the break with a goal typical of his poacher’s style, first meeting Angel Di Maria’s raking long ball with a close-range header that Steven Mandanda pushed onto the post.
The Argentine was quickest to follow up as the ball dribbled back out from the goal, and he tapped in his second goal is as many games since returning from injury.
He almost doubled his side’s lead in first half stoppage time when he hit a left-footed strike back off the crossbar.
Neymar returned to action in the 65th minute and was immediately targeted by Gonzalez, the Argentine fouling the superstar attacker several times in what looked like a continuation of the pair’s spat.
However it was Neymar who had the last laugh when he stepped up to score the decisive second goal for PSG from the penalty spot after Icardi was brought down by Marseille’s substitute keeper Yohann Pele.
Dimitri Payet pulled one back for Marseille with a minute remaining but it was too little too late for Andre Villas-Boas’ side.
With AFP inputs