Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) manager Christophe Galtier has lauded Kylian Mbappe’s selflessness and admitted that Neymar deserved a yellow for simulation against Strasbourg.
Ligue 1 leaders PSG secured a narrow 2-1 win over 19th-placed Strasbourg in their meeting at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday night (28 December). Marquinhos scored the opener with his head in the 14th minute before canceling it with an unfortunate own goal in the 51st minute. Neymar was dismissed in the 62nd minute after picking up his second booking, with him seeing his first yellow for a foul on Adrien Thomasson and the second for simulation.
Ten days after scoring a hat trick in the World Cup final, Kylian Mbappé wins it for PSG in the 95th minute
Despite playing with 10 men, the Parisians still managed to nick a win, courtesy of Mbappe’s 96th-minute penalty. At the post-match press conference, coach Galtier was asked to comment on Neymar’s dive inside Strasbourg’s box. He admitted that the Brazilian deserved the yellow for simulation but claimed that the first yellow was too harsh.
“As much as I can understand the simulation, he deserves the yellow [card], a few minutes before he suffers a bad foul and his first yellow is very severe compared to the number of fouls suffered by Ney,” the PSG manager said (h/t Planet Sport).
“Strasbourg is a team that plays well, but also gives off a lot of strength and power. There was a lot of impact in this match. I regret that the excess of commitment was not sanctioned more harshly for certain players. It could have generated a little frustration for Ney.”
Galtier then lauded Mbappe for his selflessness, claiming that he had brought his stunning World Cup form to club football.
“I think he is on the level of what he did in Qatar. He’s benefited from a few days off. Despite the sadness, he had an exceptional tournament, and his recovery means he’s been on the pace,” Galtier said about the France international.
“Since his return, he was determined to play our next two matches. He was the trigger for victory when it was tough. He has taught the whole team with his selflessness.”
Mbappe won the 2022 FIFA Golden Boot after scoring eight times in seven games, with three of his strikes coming in the final against Argentina. Despite his heroics, France could not overcome Lionel Messi’s Argentina, ultimately losing 4-2 on penalties.
Neymar was PSG’s best player before being sent off for diving
Brazil international Neymar enjoyed himself before being dismissed against Strasbourg. He linked up flawlessly with Mbappe and Co., created multiple goalscoring opportunities, and carried the ball well into the dangerous areas of the pitch. Strasbourg had a hard time containing him and fouled him time and time again.
Neymar after being sent off against Strasbourg 🤬
Before his dismissal in the 62nd minute, Neymar played three key passes, created two big chances, completed three dribbles, and drew a staggering six fouls. Had he not gone to ground rather needlessly, PSG probably would have managed to secure a more convincing win over the relegation-threatened Strasbourg on Wednesday.
Due to his indirect red card, Neymar will miss Sunday’s (1 January) Ligue 1 clash against second-place Lens.
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