Neymar strikes again as PSG go top with hard-fought Brest win


Paris St Germain forward Neymar scored his eighth Ligue 1 goal of the campaign as the champions overcame Brest 1-0 in a tough game at Parc des Princes on Saturday to extend their unbeaten start and reclaim top spot in the standings.

The result, secured after Gianluigi Donnarumma saved a late Islam Slimani penalty, means Christophe Galtier’s side have 19 points from seven matches, two more than second-placed RC Lens who led the table after a 1-0 home win over Troyes on Friday.

Olympique de Marseille can go level on points with PSG if they beat visitors Lille later on Saturday.

Brest came into the contest having conceded a club record 16 goals in their first six games and were carved open after half an hour despite a bright start as Neymar fired in from a tight angle after being played through by Lionel Messi.

The visitors were lucky not to be reduced to 10 men minutes earlier as Christophe Herelle was shown a red card for scything down Neymar, but a review prompted the referee to reverse his decision as the PSG forward was offside before the tackle.

The hosts turned the screw on their opponents and both Messi and Kylian Mbappe squandered clear opportunities either side of halftime before 17th-placed Brest were awarded a spot kick, but Slimani’s tame 70th minute effort was kept out by Donnarumma.

Presnel Kimpembe, whose challenge on Noah Fadiga led to the penalty, went off injured late on to leave PSG with 10 men after they had used up their substitutes, but experienced defenders Sergio Ramos and Marquinhos helped them see out the match.

The victory extended PSG’s winning run against Brest to 12 games, but it was far from comfortable and they will aim to iron out issues in attack before Wednesday’s Champions League game at Maccabi Haifa and next Sunday’s trip to Olympique Lyonnais.