While PSG might have been desperate to lay down another marker on Sunday night, the defending Ligue 1 champions had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Monaco.
Looking to make it four domestic wins on the bounce after opening the 2022/23 campaign, Les Parisiens had to mount a second-half rally as they avoided a potential banana skin in the French capital.
Heading down the Parc des Princes tunnel for the first-half break trailing 1-0 due to Kevin Volland’s shock opener, new boss Christophe Galtier would have been pleased by the way his side rallied after the interval.
Watching Neymar extend on his free-scoring start to the new campaign as the Brazilian superstar slotted home from the penalty spot with 20 minutes left on the clock, what did we learn from Sunday’s heavyweight showdown in Paris?
Work still to be done for Galtier’s heavyweights
Claiming France’s Super Cup back on July 31st as they stormed their way to a 4-0 romp
against Nantes, it is no secret that PSG are tipped as a landslide pick to reclaim their Ligue 1 crown this season.
Opening the 2022/23 campaign with a 5-0 Clermont, there is no doubt that Les Parisiens have laid down quite the early-season marker in Paris.
Heading into Sunday’s showdown at the Parc des Princes by picking up an iconic 7-1 victory away at former champions Lille, Galtier has received plenty of praise since arriving in the capital this summer.
However, while PSG might have won each of their opening three Ligue 1 appearances by racking up a staggering 18 strikes, the defending champions would have been disappointed to have seen that run come to an end here.
Reclaiming their domestic crown last season thanks to a commanding 15-point buffer, the ex-Saint-Étienne boss has made it clear that his star-studded squad must avoid any complacency in his camp.
Nevertheless, while PSG might have seen their rampant start endure somewhat of a stutter here, it is hard to see anyone that can offer the French giants a long-haul challenge this
Monaco get the response they had been craving
Shocking some across France last season as they managed to claim a bronze medal finish in Ligue 1, Monaco were simply desperate to keep up that momentum this time around.
However, coming under real scrutiny last weekend as they were hit with a dreadful 4-1 hammering at home against Lens, Head Coach Philippe Clement has found some growing pressure on his shoulders.
Making the trip to Paris on Sunday night by winning just one of their opening three top-flight appearances, the former Club Brugge boss also saw his side come crashing out of the Champions League qualifiers earlier in the month.
Eventually suffering an action-packed 5-4 aggregate defeat at the hands of Dutch heavyweights PSV, fans around the Stade Louis II should take some solace from a much-needed performance here.
With Clement vocal about his side’s sluggish run over the summer, it is hard to argue that Monaco were not deserving of their hard-fought point on Sunday night.
While the Monégasques might have been disappointed to have not been able to drag themselves across the finish line here, they do have plenty of positives to build on.
Neymar underlines his value to PSG
Although PSG might have opened the 2022/23 campaign in the midst of a stellar purple patch, the potential off-field issues between their iconic attacking trio have stollen plenty of headlines from across Europe.
However, while there might have been much made of the frosty relationship between Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, the Brazilian superstar has only continued to underline his importance to Galtier’s new project.
Despite being linked with what would be a blockbuster move away from the Parc des Princes this summer, Neymar has made it clear that he has no interest in seeking a new adventure.
Winning PSG’s second-half penalty and cooly converting from the spot with 20 minutes left, the 30-year-old is arguably enjoying his brightest spell in the French capital.
Receiving plenty of praise from Galtier and appearing to have rekindled his relationship with fans around the Parc des Princes, the ex-Barcelona icon has come flying out of the traps this season.
In fact, along with a brace in PSG’s Super Cup romp against Nantes last month, Neymar has found the net in each of his opening five domestic matchups this season, a run that has seen him net eight strikes already.
PSG: Donnarumma, Ramos, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Hakimi, Sanches, Veratti, Mendes, Messi, Neymar, Mbappe
Subs: Pereira, Sarabia, Mukiele
Monaco: Nubel, Aguilar, Disasi, Maripan, Badiashile, Henrique, Camara, Golovin, Fofana, Volland, Ben Yedder
Subs: Embolo, Akliouche, Minamino, Lucas
Goals: PSG: Neymar (70′ pen) – Monaco: Volland (20′)
Yellow Cards: PSG: Kimpembe, Hakimi, Verratti, Neymar – Monaco: Henrique, Badiashile, Akliouche, Camara
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Benoit Bastien
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