2017/18 French Ligue 1, Regular Season
  • Edinson Cavani (20' PEN, 89')
  • Thiago Motta (51')

Neymar contributes to two goals, Cavani scores brace as PSG stay perfect

Neymar had a hand in two goals as Paris St Germain continued their 100 percent start to the new Ligue 1 campaign with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Saint-Etienne.

Edinson Cavani put PSG in front after 19 minutes from the penalty spot after being pulled down when trying to get on the end of a flick from the Brazil forward, who left Barcelona earlier this month in a world-record £200.6 million deal.

Captain Thiago Motta added another from close range early in the second half after Neymar's free kick had caused havoc in the visitors' penalty area.

Cavani netted a late third with a neat backheel finish to seal a fourth-straight Ligue 1 victory as PSG moved three points clear of champions Monaco, who host Marseille on Sunday.

St Etienne had also won their first three league matches, and without conceding a goal, but were soon on the back foot as Neymar revelled in taking centre stage at Parc des Princes once again.

After 19 minutes, the Brazilian looked to release Cavani into the penalty area, where he was tugged back by Saidy Janko and the referee pointed to the spot.

The Uruguay frontman picked himself up before dispatching a low penalty into the bottom-left corner, which had too much power for goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.

St Etienne had a golden opportunity to equalise in the 26th minute when Jonathan Bamba sped clear down the right and into the PSG penalty area, but could not find a composed finish as goalkeeper Alphonse Areola came out to block.

PSG doubled their lead six minutes into the second half, with Neymar again involved in the build-up.

The former Barcelona man whipped a deep free kick from the right through the St Etienne penalty area, where fellow Brazilian Marquinhos chested the ball back across for Motta to stab in from close range.

It was almost 3-0 after 66 minutes when Angel Di Maria sent a long-range curling free kick goalwards, with the ball bouncing onto the foot of the left-hand post with Ruffier struggling to get across.

To their credit, the visitors continued to try to counter, as Bamba scampered clear only to again be thwarted by Areola's quick reflexes.

At the other end, Ruffier had to be alert when a cross from Di Maria was diverted back towards his own goal by Loic Perin, which the keeper blocked with a reaction save before Cavani lashed the loose ball wide from point-blank range.

PSG substitute Yuri Berchiche almost grabbed a late fourth, but the Spanish left-back, making his debut after signing from Real Sociedad, dragged a shot across goal and wide of the far post.

With two minutes left, Ruffier produced an acrobatic stop to push a 25-yard curling shot from Giovani Lo Celso over the crossbar.

The St Etienne stopper, though, was eventually beaten again when Cavani flicked the ball in following a low cross from the right by substitute Julian Draxler.