The main focus lied on Brazilian skipper Neymar though, as he continued to excel for his new club after a sensational world record £198m move from Spanish giants Barcelona. Neymar scored in his last two matches for PSG, but could not get his name onto the score-sheet despite wanting to take a penalty for the side.
The stupendous player enjoyed four glorious seasons at Barcelona, and was often given the go-ahead by talisman Lionel Messi when penalties came by. Messi has been the main penalty taker for Barca since years, and carries the onus just like Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo to take the spot-kicks.
But Neymar was often allowed by his pal Messi to share the load, and the former had also scored a penalty during the Catalans’ 6-1 win against his present club in last season’s Champions League knockout game. But at PSG, the same cannot be said.
The French league leaders earned a penalty in the 20th minute against St. Etienne, and their regular taker, Edinson Cavani, picked up the ball and went ahead with his duty. This was not all.
Neymar went up to the Uruguayan and asked if he could rather take the burden, but Cavani brushed off his advances and took it all by himself. And this led to some whirlwind reactions from fans across social media site Twitter, with some claiming ‘Cavani is no Messi’.
Cavani refused to let Neymar take the penalty.
He still thinks he plays with Messi, Messi would give it to him. pic.twitter.com/svXr1FzAEm
— Hamzah Bhuta (@Hamzah_bhuta_67) August 26, 2017
After Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure, new coach Unai Emery gave Cavani the go ahead of taking penalties for the Parisian side.
But since Neymar’s arrival this season, it was believed that the world’s costliest player will replace the Uruguayan striker as the No. 1 penalty taker, but for now, the club and Cavani are having none of it, as the latter continues to be the focal point in this department.
Written by Rajdeep Saha
Sports journalist with stints across print, digital and television. Contribution to each medium has been thrilling. Experienced in writing for this passionate game called football. Journalist by choice and passion.