L’Equipe slam ‘astonishing waste’ Neymar and hand him lowly 3/10 rating in Manchester City defeat

Now it’s Neymar’s turn for a 3/10! PSG star follows in Kylian Mbappe’s first-leg footsteps with lowly L’Equipe rating in defeat at Manchester City – as French media pan ‘CATASTROPHIC’ display and accuse him of getting ‘carried away by his emotions again’

  • PSG were knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals by Man City
  • French giants needed Neymar to be on form but he endured a disastrous night
  • L’Equipe gave him a 3/10 – like Kylian Mbappe in the first leg last Wednesday
  • They labelled him an ‘astonishing waste’ who was ‘crushed’ by the expectation 

Leading French newspaper L’Equipe slammed Neymar’s disastrous performance in PSG’s Champions League defeat by Manchester City, giving him a measly 3/10 and claiming he was an ‘astonishing waste’.

With Kylian Mbappe on the bench, the onus was on Neymar to provide the miracle PSG needed to go through to the Champions League final, but instead the team capitulated and the Brazilian was anonymous in his attempts to shine.

Mbappe was awarded a lowly 3/10 for his first-leg performance, and Neymar has now followed that up with his own 3/10 in the second leg at the Etihad, being slammed for his woeful display.

Neymar received 3/10 from notoriously hard-to-impress L’Equipe, while Mauro Icardi was 2/10

Neymar struggled to make an impact at the Etihad on a night when PSG needed to score two

Neymar struggled to make an impact at the Etihad on a night when PSG needed to score two

Explaining their low mark for the Brazilian, L’Equipe wrote that he was an ‘astonishing waste from the first minutes’, lamenting his constant moans to the referee and claiming that he was ‘crushed by the load’ put upon him.

Away from Neymar, though, there was special criticism reserved for Mauro Icardi, the only player who scored lower than the Brazilian with his 2/10. 

The paper called him a ‘total disaster’, citing his ’13 miserable touches’ in the first half, and none in the final 20 metres of the pitch.

PSG went into the match 2-1 down on aggregate, knowing that they needed two goals to have a chance to making it to Istanbul for the final.

Despite that, they didn’t manage a single shot on target throughout the entire 90 minutes, with L’Equipe reflecting their poor performance in their damning ratings on Wednesday morning.

The highest mark of the entire team was the 6/10 afforded to centre back and captain Marquinhos, while Icardi was the lowest with his 2/10.

The Brazilian was an 'astonishing waste', 'crushed' by expectation, according to L'Equipe

The Brazilian was an ‘astonishing waste’, ‘crushed’ by expectation, according to L’Equipe

Oleksandr Zinchenko (second right) dives to block a Neymar shot during the semi-final clash

Oleksandr Zinchenko (second right) dives to block a Neymar shot during the semi-final clash

Neymar and right back Alessandro Florenzi were the next-worst with 3/10, while Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria, Leandro Paredes and Abdou Diallo was got a measly 4/10 for their performances.

Despite City’s brilliant display, the notoriously harsh l’Equipe also handed out some 4s and 5s to Pep Guardiola’s men, the likes of Ederson, John Stones, Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho all scoring low.

England’s future superstar Phil Foden, meanwhile, picked up a 7/10, while the highest score of the night was reserved for Riyad Mahrez – the scorer of both goals – who netted himself a rare 8/10 from the French paper.

Mauro Icardi (L) was the only player on the pitch at the Etihad to get a lower score than Neymar

Mauro Icardi (L) was the only player on the pitch at the Etihad to get a lower score than Neymar

Riyad Mahrez top-scored for City, receiving an 8/10 after netting both of his side's goals

Riyad Mahrez top-scored for City, receiving an 8/10 after netting both of his side’s goals

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Rio Ferdinand and Joleon Lescott praise Manchester City’s defensive effort

Manchester City’s defence hailed by BT Sport pundits after series of heroic blocks against PSG, with Kyle Walker admitting ‘blocking a shot is like scoring a goal for me’, while Joleon Lescott insists any of the back four could have been man of the match

  • The Manchester City defence blocked nine shots against PSG throughout 
  • Ruben Dias was named man of the match, with John Stones also impressing
  • The 2-0 victory against PSG was City’s 31st clean sheet of the campaign 

BT Sport pundits Joleon Lescott and Rio Ferdinand believe that the improvements made to Manchester City’s defence this season has been one of the biggest factors in the side reaching their first ever Champions League final.

While Riyad Mahrez was scoring the goals up front, the City defence were putting in a serious shift at the back. They blocked nine shots throughout, produced 22 clearances, and won seven aerial duels in what was a complete performance from City’s back four.

Ruben Dias was named man of the match in the 2-0 victory, as City recorded an incredible 31st clean sheet of the campaign. Joleon Lescott, talking after the game on BT Sport, believed that any of the back four could’ve been man of the match. 

Ruben Dias and John Stones hug each other after Manchester City’s 2-0 victory against PSG

‘The enjoyment they get out of it is great to see, the fact they’re all willing to throw their body on the line – that’s the difference for me,’ said Lescott.

‘They’re all aware of what needs to be done. Any of them could’ve been man of the match.’

Pep Guardiola has spent almost £500million on defenders since he arrived, but Rio Ferdinand believes that investment is finally starting to pay off and they are starting to click. 

‘The patience – the patience with which they play, in the past the Otamendis, the others would defend on their own,’ Ferdinand said.

‘The reaction is great, there’s been players in central defence for Pep who played as individuals, they haven’t been a unit – that’s been a big difference since Dias came in.

Kyle Walker has been in immense form for Manchester City recently, and impressed again

Kyle Walker has been in immense form for Manchester City recently, and impressed again

Kyle Walker and Oleksander Zinchenko also impressed at full back, and they were even seen celebrating when they prevented the goals from going in. 

‘Walker was immense today. Tactically he had it spot on,’ Ferdinand added.

‘He switches off sometimes but this kid is in the form of his life, physically no one can match him in world football – to watch him play out here, the authority he plays with is great to see.’  

‘It’s a team game, we all go and celebrate a goal but the main thing is keeping clean sheets,’ Walker said after the game.

‘We’ve done tremendously well in doing that. Blocking a shot is like scoring a goal for me.’

Oleksander Zinchenko and Dias celebrate Manchester City's first goal against PSG

Oleksander Zinchenko and Dias celebrate Manchester City’s first goal against PSG

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Mahrez takes aim at beaten PSG players for lashing out after Manchester City had sewn up victory

‘They lost their nerves and started kicking us’: Riyad Mahrez takes aim at beaten PSG players for lashing out with reckless challenges after Manchester City had sewn up victory

Riyad Mahrez slammed ill-disciplined PSG for lashing out as Manchester City reached their first Champions League final.

Mahrez scored in the 2-1 first-leg victory in Paris, and bagged a brace on Tuesday night to complete a 4-1 victory on aggregate.

PSG lost their discipline in the first leg, with Idrissa Gueye sent off for an ugly challenge on Ilkay Gundogan.

Man City winger Riyad Mahrez clashes with Neymar during Tuesday’s bad-tempered clash

And the French champions were reduced to 10 men in the second leg after Angel Di Maria was shown a straight red card for a senseless stamp on Fernandinho on the touchline in the 69th minute.

PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe was fortunate to escape a red card for a reckless challenge on Gabriel Jesus. 

Mahrez said: ‘It was a very good game. We didn’t start good again. I don’t think we had a very good first half but we scored a goal and then we were more comfortable. 

‘After the goal in the second half we played very good, we could have scored more, then they lost their nerves and started kicking us, they had a red card and it was more comfortable for us.

Angel Di Maria was shown a straight red card for a senseless stamp on Fernandinho

Angel Di Maria was shown a straight red card for a senseless stamp on Fernandinho

‘I don’t think it was our game plan to counter, they had to come at us – sometimes they lose the ball and they are good on the counter as well. We were happy with the second goal.

Mahrez capped a sweeping move started by goalkeeper Ederson’s 60-yard pass to open the scoring in the 11th minute. 

Mahrez added: ‘[Ederson] We know he’s capable to put the ball to the other goal, it’s something we work on all the time – today it worked good. 

‘When you play semi-final of the Champions League you have to be solid – everyone has to contribute for the defence and that’s what we did, we were very solid today, we didn’t concede much that’s why were in the final.’

Presnel Kimpembe was fortunate to escape a red card for a reckless foul on Gabriel Jesus

Presnel Kimpembe was fortunate to escape a red card for a reckless foul on Gabriel Jesus

Midfielder Marco Verratti was another PSG player who lost his discipline during the defeat

Midfielder Marco Verratti was another PSG player who lost his discipline during the defeat

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City’s complete performance against PSG leaves them as favourites to win the Champions League

Manchester City will start as favourites in their first ever Champions League final, after Pep Guardiola’s side put in a complete performance against a PSG side that simply fell apart

  • Manchester City put on another superb display against last season’s finalists
  • Two goals from Riyad Mahrez on the night gave them a 4-1 aggregate victory
  • Phil Foden’s excellent performance was reminiscent of Paul Gascoigne 
  • Their defensive stability showed that they are the complete package
  • Whoever they face in the final on the 29th May, they will start as the favourites 

It is the goals that they will remember. Three for Riyad Mahrez over the course of the tie. One for Kevin De Bruyne that started to turn things in Manchester City’s favour in Paris a week earlier.

But this was a victory over two games that was built on something more than those moments.

Facing a really dangerous opponent, Pep Guardiola’s team had to be as disciplined and resilient as perhaps they have ever been.

Riyad Mahrez (left) and Kevin de Bruyne (right) scored four goals between them in the two legs

And one incident early in the second half summed up the collective effort of excellence as well as anything.

As PSG’s Brazilian Neymar ran across the top of the City penalty area, danger threatened. There was space, a clear opening. Had the French champions scored at that point the tie would have been open again.

But Neymar did not score. His shot did not even reach City goalkeeper Ederson. And that was because young City full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko blocked it brilliantly. Had he not done so, Ederson still would not have been required as John Stones was right behind his team-mate ready to do the same.

As the ball disappeared behind for a corner, Stones and Zinchencko celebrated like goal scorers. It was that kind of night for Mauricio Pochettino’s team at the Etihad Stadium. If one City player didn’t get you then another one would.

The whole of City’s back four was magnificent here. Kyle Walker continues to look like a player reborn. The Portuguese centre half Ruben Dias appeared to block at least one shot with his face.

All this from a defensive unit that Guardiola had appeared to suggest was technically limited in the run up to the first game.

Phil Foden was impressive again, with the young midfielder being likened to Paul Gascoigne

Phil Foden was impressive again, with the young midfielder being likened to Paul Gascoigne

This was a night that grew as ugly as the weather as the game approached its latter stages. That was a shame. But by then City’s work had been done. For the second game running between the teams, PSG fell apart in the second half and that was all due to the way City contained and then beat them.

The contrast with the first half in Paris could not have been greater. With mounds of hail sitting beside the pitch following some strange Manchester weather, City were the team that seemed to adapt better to the conditions as well as the enormity of the occasion.

With PSG’s need so great, we expected some fire and brimstone. In their own stadium six days earlier, they threatened to swamp City in the first 45 minutes. Neymar, Angel di Maria and Kylian Mbappe ran hot for half an hour in France and there was always the danger they may find a dangerous groove here.

Most certainly, the fact Mbappe began the night on the bench affected them. The young French forward is so quick and direct that so much of what Pochettino’s team do normally flows from that. He creates space, draws players towards him, frightens people and the result is normally pockets of green for the likes of Neymar to work in behind him.

It was another tough evening for Neymar, who was kept at bay throughout the two legs

It was another tough evening for Neymar, who was kept at bay throughout the two legs

Robbed of that here, PSG looked a little light early on. They enjoyed possession but it was different to the kind of ball they had in Paris. Here, they were largely contained. They were, if anything, a little predictable and when they lost the ball City were so quick to counter that goals for the home team seemed inevitable.

Before City did lead, only a refereeing error threatened to derail them. How Bjorn Kuipers thought the ball had been handled by Oleksandr Zinchenko in the seventh minute perhaps only he will know. Striking the young full-back on the shoulder, it was nowhere near his arm or hand. Had it not been for a VAR intervention — perhaps the most obvious of the season — City could have been behind on the night. How unjust that would have been.

Beyond that, it was City who carried the threat. Riyad Mahrez’s eleventh minute goal owed as much to goalkeeper Ederson as anything. The Brazilian’s raking pass to set Zinchenko down the left was superb.

Ruben Dias (left) and John Stones (right) have been excellent at the back for City all season

Ruben Dias (left) and John Stones (right) have been excellent at the back for City all season

Elsewhere, it was another night of influence for Phil Foden. City’s young midfielder has never played better football than he has in recent weeks. Having developed the speed now to ease away from people, he is close to unstoppable when he is in the mood. One touch and dash away from two opponents in centre field midway through the first half was reminiscent of Paul Gascoigne and the longer this season goes on the more impossible it is to imagine he will not be in Gareth Southgate’s starting eleven for the European Championships next month.

The same can be said for John Stones who was imperious at the heart of City’s defence.

The City defender must have begun this season wondering where his next good game was coming from. Now he will play in a Champions League final for the first time.

City were impressive in Paris last week but this was better. This was a complete performance and whoever they face in Istanbul’s final they will start as favourites.

Kevin de Bruyne was substituted off in the 82nd minute after another impressive display

Kevin de Bruyne was substituted off in the 82nd minute after another impressive display

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‘Frustrated’ Hakim Ziyech is being played OUT of position at No 10, claims Frank Leboeuf

‘Frustrated’ Hakim Ziyech is being played OUT of position at No 10, claims Frank Leboeuf… as former Chelsea defender tells Thomas Tuchel to ‘put him on the right’ because he is a ‘copy-cat’ of Man City star Riyad Mahrez

  • Frank Leboeuf says boss Thomas Tuchel is playing Hakim Ziyech out of position
  • Ziyech arrived at Stamford Bridge for £33million last summer but has struggled
  • He has only been handed 14 starts, scoring five goals and claiming four assists  
  • Leboeuf says Tuchel should be playing him on the right rather than in the No.10
  • The former Chelsea star says Ziyech is a ‘copy-cat’ of Man City’s Riyad Mahrez   

Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf claims Thomas Tuchel is playing Hakim Ziyech out of position at No.10.  

Ziyech arrived at Stamford Bridge for £33million last summer, but has only started 14 Premier League games for the Blues.  

Leboeuf says he understands Ziyech ‘frustration’ and that the German manager should be better playing the Chelsea star on the right hand side as he is a ‘copy-cat’ of Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez.  

Frank Leboeuf says Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is playing Hakim Ziyech out of position

Ziyech arrived at Stamford Bridge for £33m last summer but has struggled to make the team

Ziyech arrived at Stamford Bridge for £33m last summer but has struggled to make the team

Speaking of Ziyech’s situation, Leboeuf told ESPN:  ‘I’m concerned about Hakim Ziyech. If he plays, why doesn’t he [Tuchel] put him on the right?

‘I saw him today very frustrated when he came off after playing like a number 10. I don’t think that’s his real position.

‘Tuchel really has to think that Ziyech has to play on the right side. It’s like [Riyad] Mahrez, he’s a copy-cat of Mahrez.

Leboeuf (above) says Tuchel should be playing Ziyech on the right rather than in the No.10

Leboeuf (above) says Tuchel should be playing Ziyech on the right rather than in the No.10

The former Chelsea star says Ziyech is a 'copy-cat' of Manchester City's Riyad Mahrez (left)

The former Chelsea star says Ziyech is a ‘copy-cat’ of Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez (left)

‘I don’t see [Pep] Guardiola putting Mahrez in another position than on the right side.’

Ziyech has struggled to cement a place in Tuchel’s Chelsea side, despite being handed a five-year contract upon his arrival at the club. 

The 28-year-old made his 14th Premier League start for Chelsea on Saturday – when they beat Fulham at Stamford Bridge. 

However, he was somewhat ineffective as a No.10 and was replaced by N’Golo Kante in the second half.  

As it stands, Ziyech has only provided Chelsea with five goals and four assists since his arrival. 

Tuchel will be hoping to see more from the Morocco international ahead of the summer transfer window.  

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Mahrez asked De Bruyne for permission to take the free-kick that made it 2-1 to Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne reveals what he whispered to Riyad Mahrez as Man City’s captain for the night sprang a surprise by letting the winger take the free-kick that sealed victory over PSG

  • Man City were 1-0 down to PSG at half-time in the first leg of the semi-final 
  • But goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez completed the comeback
  • De Bruyne scored the first with a cross, before Mahrez’s free-kick made it 2-1 
  • And Mahrez asked De Bruyne permission to take it before scoring the winner 

Kevin de Bruyne gave Riyad Mahrez permission to take the free-kick that led to Manchester City’s second goal, which proved to be the winner in their 2-1 victory against Paris St Germain.

Manchester City went into half-time 1-0 down, but a Kevin de Bruyne-inspired comeback in the second half means they go into the return leg at home next week with a 2-1 advantage, as they eye their first ever Champions League final.

De Bruyne scored in the 64th minute from a cross that no one got on the end of, and seven minutes later City were awarded a free-kick from 20 yards out that was very much in the kind of range that De Bruyne would’ve liked.

Riyad Mahrez lines up his free-kick after asking Kevin de Bruyne if he could take it

But Mahrez asked if he could take it instead, and De Bruyne let him.      

‘I said if you believe in yourself, so who am I to say no? I believe in all my team-mates,’ De Bruyne told BT Sport.

De Bruyne was awarded Man of the Match for his performance on the night, but things could’ve been very different after Marquinhos headed in the opener after just 15 minutes.

But Pep Guardiola’s side slowed things down in the second half, and eventually their patience reaped rewards. 

Mahrez scored a free-kick that gave Manchester City a 2-1 advantage going into the second leg

Mahrez scored a free-kick that gave Manchester City a 2-1 advantage going into the second leg

‘We know there are moments where we will suffer, you have to set your mind that you need to run hard,’ De Bruyne said.  

‘I think we started well first 10 mins, they got great quality up front, shame the way we conceded.

‘After 25 minutes we changed how we pressed, we had chances, second half much better, put them under pressure, first goal lucky but we played great football in second half.

‘Just to play more with ball, we were too rushed in first half, we are not set up to go forward too quickly, we found spaces more patiently in second half, progression we made was good.

Of course, (the tie) it is set up in perfect position we kept going and second goal is good for us, but still a game to go, so concentrate on that.’

De Bruyne was awarded Man of the Match for his performance after scoring his side's opener

De Bruyne was awarded Man of the Match for his performance after scoring his side’s opener

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