Neymar’s lacklustre performance vs. Liverpool reveals he isn’t flourishing at PSG

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For 82 minutes of Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-2 Champions League defeat Tuesday against Liverpool at Anfield, the only word to describe Neymar’s performance for the French team would have been “peripheral.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The £198 million world-record signing was always threatening to get involved, but he never quite managed it until, with eight minutes left to play, he capitalised on a misplaced pass by Mohamed Salah and sprinted toward the Liverpool penalty area before unselfishly laying the ball off for Kylian Mbappe, who clinically shot past goalkeeper Alisson Becker to make it 2-2.

It was the kind of moment you expect from a world-class player — swift, decisive and with the opposition paying a price — but the uncomfortable truth for the Brazilian forward is that it was his sole contribution to a stirring game.

For much of it, he ran into a red roadblock, usually in the shape of James Milner or Jordan Henderson, who were not overawed in the slightest by Neymar’s superstar status. The 26-year-old floated around in the middle third of the pitch, usually held onto the ball too long and, when his teammates had possession, too often drifted off to the flank to occupy a position that would do little to worry Jurgen Klopp’s players.8

His supporters will argue that he is prolific in Ligue 1 — he has already scored four goals in four league games this season after hitting 19 in 20 last term — but PSG broke the bank to sign him from Barcelona last year for his ability to make the difference on big nights in the Champions League. We’re still waiting for that to happen.

This was, in truth, the first game of Group C, so PSG and Neymar have plenty of time to hit their stride and dominate not only the group, but the Champions League.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Neymar is good enough to do that, but PSG’s defence suggests that the team will fall short once again, and perhaps therein lies the problem for the world’s most expensive player: He knows that this team can go only so far, regardless of any heroics he might be able to muster in the attacking third of the pitch.

At Barcelona, Neymar knew that he was playing for a team that had the strength in every department to go all the way in the Champions League, as they did in 2015. But at PSG, he is just an expensive decoration.