The most expensive front-line in football history has been terrorising Ligue 1 defences this season, including Friday night’s 5-1 demolition of 10-man Metz, in which the forward line of Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Edinson Cavani scored four of the five goals.
£200m world record signing Neymar has settled in instantly at the French club and scored his fourth goal in four games with a delightful swerving shot from outside the box, as well as contributing four assists; Mbappe, who has joined on loan this season and will become the second most expensive player in the world at £166m next summer once the move is made permanent, scored on his debut with a sharp finish from the edge of the area; and Cavani, who at £55m is a bargain with regards to today’s transfer market, bagged a double.
Not only Ligue 1 teams, but teams in the Champions League, which PSG have endured limited success in even with the heavy investments of Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), will now be sweating over the prospect of facing the French clubs’ lethal strike force and will seriously be questioning how one of Europe’s most devastating front-lines can be stopped.
Warning shots fired in Scotland
Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic have already experienced the full wrath of the French side’s quality in the Champions League group B opener, with ‘MCN’ running riot and scoring four of the five goals, the other being an own goal by Mikael Lustig, in PSG’s 5-0 victory at Celtic Park, which was Celtic’s heaviest ever home defeat in European competitions.
Celtic have hosted some of the biggest powerhouses in Europe in the past, however none have been quite as ruthless as this new force in European football.
After the game, Rodgers said: “They are arguably the best team in the world at the minute. This is a really special team and they are going to be close to winning it.”
The frightening thing for Celtic is that ahead of the return leg at the Parc des Princes later in the group stages, Neymar was especially wasteful in front of goal and PSG could have scored more in this game, therefore there is real fear of what the future holds for Celtic.
On the eve of the UCL opener, when captain Thiago Silva was asked whether training had become much more difficult for the defenders since the arrival of Mbappé and Neymar, Silva smiled and replied: “The recruitment was very good. They are both experienced and they are both very motivated to improve this team. We have confidence in them as team-mates. Neymar has so much experience in the Champions League. He can maybe make the difference. The three players we have signed are incredible.”
Here, he was referring to the signing of his other fellow Brazilian from Juventus, right-back Dani Alves.
Neymar, the difference maker
Unai Emery has admitted that the Champions League is the most important competition for the Parisians to win after their heavy spending, and is a trophy which has eluded them thus far.
The captain’s comments about Neymar making the difference in the competition shows that there is widespread belief at the club that the Brazil superstar can change the club’s fortunes in Europe’s premier club knock-out competition.
Silva went on further to say: “When you’ve got these guys in there with this technique and ability on the ball, it’s an impossible task to stop them every time.”
The Brazilian is undoubtedly one of the best central defenders in the world, so therefore these comments are significant coming from such a calibre of defender.
PSG have played five games in Ligue 1 this season so far, and of the 19 goals scored, Neymar and Cavani have scored 11 of them.
Although the Uruguayan misses more chances than he should, there are few players in world football who are better at scoring a goal by hitting the ball first-time and who thrive off getting on the end of crosses. His brilliant angled header for PSG’s fifth goal against Celtic was truly world-class.
The future is definitely looking bright for PSG with the devastating MCN front-line ready to lead a large-scale assault on Real Madrid’s firm grip of the Champions League trophy.
Written by Sina Latif
Follow Sina on Twitter @_sina93
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