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Neymar Watches as PSG Cruise Past Amiens in Ligue 1 Opener – Bleacher Report

TOPSHOT - Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar looks on during his presentation to the fans at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on August 5, 2017.
Brazil superstar Neymar will watch from the stands as Paris Saint-Germain open their season on August 5, 2017, but the French club have already clawed back around a million euros on their world record investment. Neymar, who signed from Barcelona for a mind-boggling 222 million euros ($264 million), is presented to the PSG support prior to his new team's first game of the Ligue 1 campaign against promoted Amiens.
 / AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD        (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)


Neymar brought new club Paris Saint-Germain good fortune as the French giants opened their Ligue 1 campaign with a 2-0 win over Amiens on Saturday, with the Brazilian watching from the stands.

The Parc des Princes roared for the arrival of their €222 million (£200 million) signing from Barcelona prior to beating Amiens 2-0 thanks to goals from Edinson Cavani and Javier Pastore.

Neymar was not cleared in time to earn his Paris debut on Saturday, per BBC News, meaning the world’s most expensive player could make his bow in PSG’s trip to Guingamp next Sunday.

Manager Unai Emery came into Saturday’s Ligue 1 opener knowing a fine start to the campaign would be needed in order to slow defending champions AS Monaco in their bid for superiority among France’s elite.

But the main story of the day was Neymar’s arrival as a PSG player, and even though he was restricted from having any impact on the pitch, the home fans were jubilant in celebrating his reveal before kick-off, per ESPN FC:

Squawka also posted pictures from the Parc des Princes, which showed PSG’s fans are relying heavily on the new addition to their Brazilian contingent, also comprising Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Lucas Moura:

Amiens were set up to put men behind the ball in their best efforts to hold off big opposition, although many in the past have tried and failed to restrain PSG by setting up with a defensive approach in mind.

It worked to good effect for the opening quarter of the match but didn’t help Amiens carve out any scoring chances of their own in the first period, ending the half with just two shots at goal, per WhoScored.com

Adrien Rabiot came close to putting PSG 1-0 near the half-hour mark and should have steered his header in, but he could only connect with the woodwork as the hosts were frustrated in their search for a breakthrough.

Goal’s Mohammed Ali put into words the disappointment felt by the home side following Rabiot’s miss:

Despite that close call, however, PSG remained in firm control of possession and always looked the more likely bunch to go ahead, with Rabiot and Cavani two of the more constant threats on goal.

And the Uruguayan striker finally clinched the breakthrough after a superb, deep cross from Alves on the right found Cavani in the box. Two touches was all he needed before guiding in a close-range finish, and French football writer Andrew Gibney spoke of his high hopes for the frontman this season:

PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa sprang free down the left flank soon after the restart and should have created a second for an onrushing Cavani in the box, but his cross couldn’t connect with the head of the South American striker.

With Amiens failing to build anything resembling an attacking presence, Angel Di Maria was next to come close and chipped agonisingly wide of the net on the back of a piercing run through enemy lines.

It was only after 65 minutes that Amiens finally got their first shot on target, although Seybou Koita’s effort from outside the box hardly troubled PSG stopper Alphonse Areola, who was preferred in goal instead of Kevin Trapp.

One goal down and Amiens might have stood a chance of clinching a result, but an incisive through ball from Marco Verratti found Cavani one-on-one in front of goal, passing left for Pastore to finish in an open net. 

The Argentinian’s first Ligue 1 goal since March 2016 effectively sealed the victory with less than 10 minutes remaining, and the closing phases of the clash turned into a passing exercise for the hosts.

PSG’s trip to Guingamp next Sunday is bound to be a bigger test than anything Amiens put forward at the Parc des Princes, and Emery will look forward to his opportunity to hand Neymar his debut as soon as possible.

Neymar Watches as PSG Cruise Past Amiens in Ligue 1 Opener – Bleacher Report

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