PSG boss Christophe Galtier insists in-form Neymar was benched to keep him fresh ahead of Champions League visit of Juventus amid feud between the Brazil star and Kylian Mbappe following last month’s penalty dispute
- PSG boss Christophe Galtier left Neymar on the bench ahead of the visit of Juventus
- Kylian Mbappe scored twice at Nantes to help PSG to a comfortable 3-0 victory
- Neymar was brought on as a replacement for Mbappe with 27 minutes to play
- Tensions appear to be easing between Mbappe and Neymar after the penalty drama
Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier has explained why he left Neymar on the bench in the club’s 3-0 victory over Nantes on Saturday night.
The Brazilian has been in superb form this season but was left out of Galtier’s starting line up for the Ligue 1 clash.
PSG ran riot on Nantes, winning 3-0 at La Beaujoire with Kylian Mbappe scoring twice and Nuno Mendes netting another to keep the champions top of the table due to their superior goal difference.
Neymar was introduced midway through the second half at Nantes, replacing Kylian Mbappe
Neymar was introduced for the final 27 minutes of the game, replacing Mbappe and almost got himself on the scoresheet in the game’s closing moments.
‘We play a lot, every three days then every four days. Everyone understands that they will not be able to play all the 95-minute matches,’ Galtier told French broadcaster Canal+.
I spoke about it twice. The first time with each player, the second with the whole group, to tell them that it was okay to be like that and that you had to have the right attitude.’
PSG coach Christophe Galtier has no problem laying down the law to the club’s superstars
Neymar has been in sensational form for PSG this season with seven goals in just six matches
Galtier took the reins at the Parc des Princes this summer and despite his relative inexperience in managing star players, the 56-year-old has not shied away from big decisions, having replaced his attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Mbappe and Neymar.
The former Lille manager has already had to keep egos in check and called a clear-the-air meeting last month after Neymar and Mbappe’s falling out over penalty-taking duties.
Galtier and the club’s football advisor Luis Campos sat the pair down to quickly put an end to the tension and implement a change of attitude at the club.
The relationship between the star duo has soured in recent months with the penalty-gate drama against Montpellier coming as their first public spat.
Neymar and Mbappe were embroiled in a public spat during PSG’s game against Montpellier
Mbappe was unhappy that Neymar had taken a penalty against Montpellier following an agreement that the Frenchman would become the club’s number one penalty taker this season.
Neymar was the first-choice penalty taker last season but an agreement following Mbappe’s new bumper contract extension handed spot taking duties to the 23-year-old.
The Brazilian later ‘liked’ a series of tweets from a Twitter account lambasting the club’s decision to give penalty kicks to Mbappe, who has an inferior record to Neymar from the spot.
PSG face Juventus on Tuesday evening in the Champions League, followed by a busy schedule that will see the Parisian club play every three days up until the international break at the end of the month and Galtier was keen to point out after the match it was a question of rotation due to the team’s busy schedule.
The reigning Ligue 1 champions have made a blistering start to the season with five wins for their six games played.
The only blemish was a 1-1 draw at home against Monaco last weekend, but club chiefs will be delighted with the start to the season after a drab 18 months under Mauricio Pochettino.
PSG have scored 24 goals from their opening six games, equaling the record [Manchester City in 2019-20 and Bayern Munich in 2020-21] for goals scored at this stage of a season in the 21st century by a team in Europe’s top five leagues.