Neymar missed Saturday’s trip to Montpellier with a foot injury and Paris Saint-Germain were held 0-0. It shouldn’t be a binary equation but inevitably, many saw it that way. No Neymar, no win.
In fact, the reason PSG dropped their first points of the campaign has more to do with the opposition and a frankly hideous performance, particularly in midfield and attack. You shouldn’t need Neymar to break down Montpellier, even if they park the bus. PSG created two clear-cut chances, one for Edinson Cavani and one for Kylian Mbappe, and wasted both. On another occasion, Mbappe ignored a wide-open Cavani and fired at the keeper.
On a different day, one of those chances goes in, Montpellier open up and it’s a big win for the visitors. But that doesn’t change the fact that for much of the game they looked static, unimaginative and at times uninterested.
Unai Emery needs to step up. Nobody expects them to win every game, but they ought to at least perform in every match. What we saw in Montpellier was just ugly and you can’t simply blame it on Neymar.
Click here to read more of Marcotti’s thoughts on what occurred in European football over the previous week.