Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 Brest: Neymar strikes as champions return to Ligue 1 summit
Neymar continued his fine start to the season as his eighth goal of 2022-23 edged Paris Saint-Germain past Brest at the Parc des Princes.FotMob - 6 months ago
Neymar scored the only goal of the game as Paris Saint-Germain returned to the top of Ligue 1 with a 1-0 win over Brest, though the French champions were indebted to Gianluigi Donnarumma following his penalty save.
The Brazilian volleyed home his eighth strike of the campaign after half an hour to settle a scrappy affair, maintaining the hosts' unbeaten start.
However, Christophe Galtier's side survived a scare in the final 20 minutes as Donnarumma kept out Islam Slimani's spot-kick to preserve their lead.
PSG have now won each of their last 10 league matches against Brest, and appear strong favourites for yet another title after extending their unbeaten home league run to 25 games.
Brest came under intense pressure inside the opening 20 minutes with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi all going close for the Parisians.
The visitors' struggles appeared set to worsen when Christophe Herelle received a red card for fouling Neymar, but they were reprieved after a VAR check revealed the PSG forward had strayed offside before the challenge occurred.
The Brazil international broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark, however, controlling Messi's wonderful lofted ball before firing past Marco Bizot.
The Brest goalkeeper did well to thwart Messi and Mbappe before the break, while the latter was also denied by the offside flag.
The woodwork then came to the visitors' rescue within five minutes of the restart; Messi heading against the post from Mbappe's cross.
Despite registering 14 shots on goal, PSG were almost made to pay for their lack of cutting edge in the 70th minute when Presnel Kimpembe fouled Noah Fadiga in the box.
However, Donnarumma guessed correctly to keep out Slimani from 12 yards and ensure his side's return to the Ligue 1 summit.
What does it mean? PSG back at the summit after denying Brest again
As well as moving back to the Ligue 1 summit, PSG maintained their fine record against Brest by winning a scrappy encounter; the Parisians have now beaten Brest 18 times in Ligue 1, the most defeats the visitors have suffered against a single side in the French top-flight.
Meanwhile, the leaders have beaten Brest in each of the duo's last 10 league meetings, only boasting a better such streak against Angers (12 straight wins) among current Ligue 1 teams.
Neymar settles it
Neymar, the top scorer in Ligue 1 this season, made another decisive contribution as he found the net for a fifth successive home league game.
Brest were previously the only team the Brazil international had faced in the French top-flight without ever registering a goal contribution.
But he ended that wait in style, controlling Messi's wonderful pass with a feather-like touch before brilliantly volleying home what proved to be the winning goal.
Messi inspires hosts
He may not have scored, but Messi played a key role as PSG returned to the top of the table.
His delightful assist for Neymar was one of a game-high four key passes from the former Barcelona man, while no player had more shots on goal (four, along with Mbappe).
PSG travel to Israel on Wednesday to face Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League, while Brest return to Ligue 1 action at home to Ajaccio next Sunday.