PSG 2:0 Lille – Neymar remembers Kobe Bryant after second goal

PSG 2-0 Lille - Neymar remember Kobe Bryant after second goal
PSG 2-0 Lille - Neymar remember Kobe Bryant after second goal

Neymar scored a brace to secure the 2-0 win for PSG against Lille at Stade Pierre Mauroy, and extend their lead to 10 points at the top of Ligue 1 over rivals Marseille.

Prior to Paris Saint-Germain’s visit to the Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille OSC had superb result one of the best teams in Ligue 1 with 8 wins and 2 draws this season. After today’s match against Thomas Tuchel’s squad though, Les Dogues faced their first home loss of the season.

Neymar dedicated second goal to Kobe Bryant

Neymar was brilliant on the night. L’Equipe wrote about his game – “a radiance as bright as his hair.” They also rated him highest, 8 out of 10.

It was a good assessment for PSG before Borussia Dortmund match in the UEFA Champions League on February 12. Lille played tough and perhaps deserved more from the game.

First goal was an elegant Neymar goal. It looked so simple, as the Brazilian latched it from the top of the box. He scored the second one after the break, from penalty. During celebration he dedicated the goal to late Kobe Bryant. PSG players came to know Kobe’s demise during break.

At halftime, captain Thiago Silva was taken off due to “pubic pain” (later confirmed by Tuchel) and replaced with 17-year-old Tanguy Kouassi. PSG later confirmed the replacement was precautionary one.

PSG’s fantastic four did not click today. Mauro Icardi is yet to open his goal-scoring account this calendar year.

PSG Injury Worry

Abdou Diallo, who started for the injured Juan Bernat, was substituted in the 76th minute due to cramps. This is a devastating news because PSG is already without Marquinhos for three weeks due to a hamstring injury. When the Brazilian initially went down against Stade de Reims, Tuchel said that “it is not too serious”.

If those two players are out for an extended length of time, it could be devastating for PSG. Marquinhos is running against time to be fit for Champions League match against Dortmund. Thiago Silva has been in great form this season and Diallo is a versatile defender who can step in at center-back and left-back.

Post Match

Thomas Meunier on the victory

“They were undefeated at home where they had a better average than us. It was important to come and show that we are in a very positive spiral. We approached the game in a very professional manner. It is a new scoreless match conceded with lots of chances created. There was a bit of fatigue at the end of the match and we multiplied unnecessary ball losses. But it happens against a very good team with players who provoke a lot. It was not easy to contain them. So we will save the result, the job is done.”

Thomas Meunier on Neymar Performance

“I’m not going to say that you get used to it but when he puts down a single goal or an assist, you tell yourself that he didn’t play a good match (laughs). In reality, it is sensational what he does. It’s the same for Kylian (Mbappé)or Angel (Di Maria), they are always decisive. We will always need them, it’s a chance to have them on our team.”