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Neymar is on target to leave Liverpool's hopes in balance



PARIS: Paris St Germain revived their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 win over Liverpool in Group C on Wednesday, leaving hope the English club reached the last 16 in balance.

PSG was set like a team that was finally determined to prove their credentials on the big European stage, and advanced in the 13th minute through Juan Bernat, before Neymar made it 2-0 eight minutes before halftime after a PSG lightning counterattack.

But with the French champions on cruise control, Angel Di Maria did not need to drop Sadio Mane to give a penalty, which James Milner converted in the first half of extra time, to give Liverpool hope.

The visitors could not find an equalizer, though, slipping to a third away group defeat – the first time they lost all three group matches away from Anfield in the Champions League.

The result saw PSG leapfrog Liverpool, with eight points to Liverpool six, with Napoli over the group at nine and all still playing in the final round of the match.

Liverpool headed for the match against Napoli at Anfield which needed a 1-0 win or two or more goals to ensure their place in the knockout round, while PSG will go through a win over Red Star Belgrade.

Desperate to make an impression on the European stage, after not reaching the Champions League semifinals since 1995, PSG were given a pre-match boost with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe qualifying to play.

The duo caused Liverpool to underline many problems from the start, with goalkeeper Alisson being forced in smart to deny Di Maria and Mbappe then shooting straight into Brazil.

Bernat then danced into the Liverpool box after pouncing on Virgil van Dijk's bad permission to break the deadlock.

After Mbappe and Neymar joined the left side, the Frenchman gave you a chance for Edinson Cavani, whose effort was saved only for Neymar to change the rebound, becoming Brazil's best player in Champions League history in the process.

After Milner brought Liverpool back into the game, the old PSG, who had suffered a lot of Champions League defeats against high-caliber opposition, might have let go of their minds.

But they stood firm when Liverpool pressed after the break and almost scored again, when a header from Marquinhos was saved by Alisson.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; Editing by Toby Davis and Ian Chadband)


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