Neymar scores hat-trick as PSG hit Red Star for six
Round-up: Atletico and Dortmund both secure wins; Inter make it two from two
Paris Saint Germain winger Neymar celebrates after scoring his first goal during the Champions League Group C match against Red Star Belgrade at Parc des Princes. Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA
Paris Saint Germain 6 Red Star Belgrade 1
Paris St Germain got their Champions League campaign back on track with a 6-1 home rout of Serbian side Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday as Brazil forward Neymar lit up a lop-sided Group C clash with a hat-trick at the Parc des Princes.
Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani and France World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe added a goal each as the French champions ripped into 1991 European Cup winners Red Star, who were spared a heavier defeat by goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
It was one-way traffic from the start in Paris as the home side raced into a 2-0 lead with two goals in two minutes as Neymar curled a delightful free kick past Borjan in the 20th minute before he converted a fine run and pass by Mbappe.
Cavani made it 3-0 with a deflected shot from inside the penalty area in the 37th minute before Di Maria added a fourth from close range after Thomas Meunier floated in a superb pass with the outside of his foot.
In between the goals and early in the second half, Borjan pulled off a string of superb saves to deny Neymar and Mbappe on multiple occasions as PSG carved open Red Star’s defence at will, with Mbappe also guilty of some sloppy finishing.
Mbappe finally found the back of the net in the 70th minute after a dazzling move involving Neymar and Juan Bernat left the 19-year-old with a simple tap in from six metres.
Red Star, playing in the competition’s group stages for the first time, scored their maiden goal on the big stage when midfielder Marko Marin buried a shot from 12 metres into the top corner in his team’s first purposeful move.
Borjan could only offer a wry smile when Neymar put the icing on the cake of a brilliant individual performance as he unleashed another breathtaking free kick from 30 metres in the 81st minute before he was substituted.
Cavani had the ball in the back of the net again shortly afterwards but the goal was disallowed for a marginal offside as PSG kept their feet on the pedal until the final whistle.
Atletico Madrid 3 Club Brugge 1
A double from Antoine Griezmann helped lift Atletico Madrid to a 3-1 win over Club Bruges, earning them a second consecutive victory in the competition and a commanding position in Group A.
France striker Griezmann gave the home side the lead shortly before the half-hour mark after seeing an earlier strike ruled out for narrowly straying offside, although Atletico’s seemingly comfortable advantage was soon shot down from out of nowhere.
Dutch winger Arnaut Danjuma appeared to pose little threat as he hovered on the left hand side of the penalty area but surprised everyone in the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium with a perfectly struck shot into the far top corner to equalise in the 39th minute.
Atletico might have felt a sense of deja vu from their disastrous 1-1 draw at home to Qarabag last year which led to them being knocked out in the group stages, and after the interval put all their efforts into regaining the lead.
Spain midfielder Saul Niguez came close on two occasions in quick succession while Griezmann was left frustrated by a point-blank save from Croatian goalkeeper Karlo Letica.
The Frenchman eventually grabbed his second goal by smashing a pass from strike partner Diego Costa into the net in the 67th minute, although Atletico’s relief at restoring their lead was soon punctured by the sight of Costa going off injured.
The Belgian side had a short-lived period of pressure in search of an equaliser and nearly got one when defender Stefano Denswil headed narrowly wide.
Atletico responded with a flurry of attempts down the other end and after substitute Angel Correa had missed two clear chances, Koke steered a loose ball high into the net after a darting run into the area by Griezmann.
Borussia Dortmund 3 Monaco 0
Borussia Dortmund’s blistering start to the season under new manager Lucien Favre gathered momentum as the Bundesliga leaders consigned ailing AS Monaco to a 3-0 defeat in the other Group A game.
Dortmund’s young Danish striker Jacob Bruun Larsen, brought on at the break after a mediocre first half from Favre’s unbeaten high-flyers, broke the deadlock within six minutes before strikes from Paco Alcacer and captain Marco Reus heaped more misery on Monaco.
Dortmund’s storming second-half display kept them at the top of Group A alongside Atletico Madrid, with both sides on a maximum six points, but for Monaco, who have not won any of their last nine matches, it was another low point in a poor season.
PSV 1 Inter Milan 2
Mauro Icardi took advantage of an error from PSV Eindhoven goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet to gift Inter Milan a 2-1 victory in their Group B clash.
Inter made it two wins from two and inflicted a second defeat on the Dutch side as Radja Nainggolan fired in an equaliser after Pablo Rosario scored his first goal in three years to give PSV the lead.
The victory was deserved on the balance of play, though PSV can point to bad luck in crucial moments and will feel somewhat aggrieved, as shown by the plastic bottles that were launched from the stands on to the pitch late in the match.
Lokomotiv Moscow 0 Schalke 1
Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie scored with a header two minutes from time to give the Bundesliga side a 1-0 win at Lokomotiv Moscow in a rain-soaked Champions League match on Wednesday.
Schalke’s first victory in Group D, in a disappointing game littered with misplaced passes, left them with four points from two games while the Russian champions have yet to get off the mark.
FC Porto 1 Galatasaray 0
A second-half header by Moussa Marega gave Porto a 1-0 win over Galatasaray after veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas kept the Turkish side at bay.
French-born Mali forward Marega struck four minutes after the break as Porto claimed their first win in Group D, leaving the Portuguese champions level on points at the top with Schalke and one ahead of their Turkish opponents.
Both teams created chances in an open end-to-end game with both Casillas and his opposite number Fernando Muslera keeping the score down.