Neymar backed to rediscover scoring touch as PSG lose in Champions League at Bayern Munich
Brazilian has another quiet night in 3-1 defeat as German champions gain a measure of revenge
Paris Saint-Germain boss Unai Emery backed star forward Neymar to refind his scoring touch after their 3-1 Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich.
Neymar had a quiet night, goalless in Munich despite scoring in all of the five previous group games.
“Neymar? I am calm, I know that he will progress in this team, he has the quality for that,” said Emery.
Corentin Tolisso struck twice as Bayern gained a measure of revenge for September’s 3-0 defeat in Paris with a comfortable victory at the Allianz Arena in their final group game.
With both teams already through to the last 16, Bayern needed to win by four goals to usurp the French side from first place in the group.
Despite the defeat, the big-spending Parisians finished as group B winners with a better goal difference across the two head-to-head matches.
However, the German champions restored pride as they matched PSG’s tally of 15 points.
Bayern raced into a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to goals by Robert Lewandowski and Tolisso.
Kylian Mbappe pulled one back for the visitors just after the break before Tolisso scored a superb third for Bayern.
PSG will go into the pot for Monday’s knockout phase draw as group winners, but midfielder Adrien Rabiot said they must improve following a second consecutive defeat after the Ligue 1 leaders lost 2-1 at Strasbourg last weekend.
“It’s true that we have work to do because we need to play better in this type of match,” said the defensive midfielder.
“We did some good things, but there’s quite a lot we have to correct. We played too much as individuals and not enough as a team.
“When we played as a team, we were dangerous and could have scored more goals but weren’t clinical enough.
“When we try to do everything on our own, it doesn’t work.”
Germany international Julien Draxler admitted PSG were not as good as in September’s 3-0 win when they outplayed the Bavarians by some distance.
“In the first half, we didn’t play as well as we had in Paris, so Bayern were superior,” said Draxler.
“Bayern did well, you can see that they are one of the best teams in Europe. We are unhappy about the defeat, but are pleased to have won the group.”
Carlo Ancelotti was sacked as Bayern coach in the wake of the humbling defeat at PSG and Bayern replaced him with Jupp Heynckes, who coached them to the 2013 treble.
“This was a real team effort. We did exactly what we set out to do and were tactically very clever,” beamed Heynckes.
The 72-year-old pulled a few surprises before kick-off, leaving out Germany stars Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller, plus midfielders Javi Martinez and Arturo Vidal.
He gave Bayern some French flair by starting with Kingsley Coman and Franck Ribery on the wings while Tolisso was superb in attacking midfield.
“Coman’s performance was no surprise for me – he always gives me reasons to start him,” said Heynckes.
“Tolisso has continued to prove that he’s an excellent footballer and a real goal threat. He trained outstandingly this week and there was no reluctance in my mind to start him.”