spectacular, PSG puts the game in its place against Basaksehir

The Brazilian Neymar distinguished himself by scoring a hat-trick.

The great ride. A day after having managed to force UEFA to interrupt an official meeting – a historic first – for a suspicion of racist remarks by the fourth referee against the assistant coach of the Turkish club, Pierre Achille Webo, the players of PSG and Istanbul Basaksehir met, Wednesday, December 9, for a match without any real sporting issue.

Read our story: “Come, we go out”: the players of PSG-Basaksehir leave the field, denouncing the racist remarks of a referee

And the Parisians are responsible for quickly ending the last of the suspense. They easily dominated their opponents and grabbed the first place in Group H. Winner 5-1, thanks to a hat-trick from Neymar and a double from Kylian Mbappé, Thomas Tuchel’s players finished ahead of RB Leipzig (12 points each ), the other survivor of group H, qualified for the round of 16.

For this repetition, the European body had appointed a new arbitration team, led by the Dutchman Danny Makkelie, assisted by one of his compatriots and two Poles. In an almost empty stadium, behind closed doors, UEFA and the two clubs orchestrated a highly anticipated pre-match. During the warm-up, the players and staff members – Pierre Achille Webo included, since his red card was lifted – first entered the lawn of the Parc des Princes wearing a logo t-shirt. “No to racism” (No to racism), which also featured the coats of arms of PSG and Basaksehir.

Relive the encounter: PSG-Basaksehir: worn by Neymar and Mbappé, Paris finishes first in its Champions League group

Recollection before the game

Then, just before kick-off, the twenty-two actors gathered in a circle around the center circle and knelt down, a move popularized by the Black Lives Matter movement. In the stands, despite their absence, the PSG ultras had placed a banner of circumstance: “Support for Mr. Webo… Proud of the players… against racism”.

Seven minutes after the resumption of the meeting – which restarted Wednesday evening since the 14e minute of play – the Parisians had already made the difference. Head elsewhere, the Turks of Istanbul Basaksehir never seemed to enter the game, despite two small entry opportunities (two shots missed by Fredrik Gulbrandsen, 15e and 16e).

The players knelt around the center circle before kick-off.

After a new clumsiness of Kylian Mbappé (18e), never as comfortable as when given freedom, the Brazilian Neymar illuminated the game with a technical sequence carried out as in training. Small bridge over defender Carlos Ponck, followed by a curled shot of the right foot in the skylight of goalkeeper Mert Günok (21e, 1-0).

Fifteen minutes later, the Brazilian doubled the bet. On a service from his young partner, Neymar presented himself against Günok and deceived him with a low shot (2-0, 38e). Looking for his first Champions League goal for a year (December 11, 2019 against Galatasaray), Mbappé would take advantage of a goal denied to Dutchman Mitchel Bakker by VAR for an offside position. The referee, Dutchman Danny Makkelie, was returning to a previous foul on the inevitable Neymar. The 2018 world champion turned the gift into force (3-0, 42e).

Relive the start of the match live PSG – Basaksehir, interrupted after accusations of racism against a referee

Health walk

The Parisian health walk continued after returning from the changing rooms. Neymar offered himself a hat-trick at the conclusion of a silky exchange, a one-two with Angel Di Maria, new entrant. The Brazilian’s strike ended in the top corner (50e, 4-0). Mehmet Topal’s reduction of the gap was only anecdotal (57e, 4-1). On a second assist from Di Maria, Kylian Mbappé further aggravated the score by pushing the ball into an empty goal (5-1, 62e), then missed the treble on an ineffective dive attempt (73e). For the end of this meeting, where the stakes were gone, Istanbul’s substitute striker Demba Ba made his appearance on the pitch. Main player in the players’ decision to leave the lawn on Tuesday, the native of Île-de-France played the last twenty minutes of the meeting.

Thanks to this success, the Parisians have qualified for the ninth consecutive time for the knockout stages of the competition and for the fourth time in a row, finishing leader of their group. They evacuate the stress caused by mixed results during the group stage (two defeats in the first three games). What offer them, a priori, a less formidable opponent, one of the seven second pool.

The only French representative qualified for the rest of the competition, Paris can now focus on current affairs. Sunday, PSG (1er with 28 points) hosts the Olympique Lyonnais (3e with 26 points) with the desire to stifle the nascent ambitions of its Ligue 1 competitors. With its Neymar-Mbappé duo, the capital club can be reasonably optimistic.

Read also “We must be in position”: behind PSG, the big league 1 hunt in packs


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