Neymar, Cavani argue over penalty as PSG keep perfect start

PARIS: Star forwards Neymar and Edinson Cavani argued over who should take a penalty kick as Paris St Germain extended their perfect Ligue 1 record to six matches with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday.

Facing their stiffest challenge this season against the seven-time champions, PSG needed two own-goals from Lyon defenders Marcelo and Jeremy Morel and now lead defending champions AS Monaco by three points.

Marcelo and Morel turned strikes by Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe into their own net in the 75th and 86th minutes.

“It was a complicated game against a good team but we showed we could do great things together,” said Mbappe, who joined from Monaco this season. “I enjoy it a lot here, I learn a lot, I still have to improve.”

The game marked the first time that none of the members of the 466 million euro attacking ‘MCN’ (Mbappe, Neymar, Cavani) trident found the back of the net as Lyon proved a tough nut to crack.

Lyon defended well and prevented Neymar from making his mark while Cavani had only a few touches.

Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes made several decisive saves and sent a penalty kick from Cavani onto the bar in the 79th minute. Moments before, Cavani and Neymar had been seen arguing about who should take the penalty.

A few minutes before that, Cavani had tried to take a free kick but Neymar’s good friend and fellow Brazilian Dani Alves took the ball and gave it to the former Barcelona star.

Cavani thrived last season as PSG’s main striker, finishing as the league’s top scorer and bagging a remarkable 49 goals in 50 games across all competitions. Neymar’s arrival from Barcelona for a world record 222 million euros ($262 million) has taken the spotlight away from him.

Cavani went back to the dressing room straight after the final whistle while his team-mates celebrated on the pitch.

PSG was fortunate to open the scoring 15 minutes from time when Giovani Lo Celso beat Kenny Tete on the left flank and found Cavani with a low cross. The Uruguayan’s back heel was deflected into his own net by Marcelo.

The hosts doubled their lead when Mbappe was set up by Neymar and forced Lopes into another good save, with the ball bouncing back onto Morel and into the net as Lyon, losing for the first time this season, left Parc des Princes in fifth place, eight points adrift of the leaders.

Lyon coach Bruno Genesio reflected: “I don’t think there’s a club in France that can compete with PSG for the title, but for one match, yes.”

Earlier a sizzling Mario Balotelli strike ten minutes from time gave Nice a 1-0 win at Stade Rennes and Olympique de Marseille pulled out of an early season slump when a Clinton Njie brace gave the ambitious southerners a 2-0 win at Amiens.

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