Football

Emery: Both Neymar and Cavani can take penalties

PSG coach to leave decision to duo, Brazilian's dad says 'Penaltygate' was exaggerated

Neymar scored twice, including a first-half penalty, and created another goal as Paris Saint- Germain hammered previously unbeaten Bordeaux 6-2 on Saturday to pull three points clear of defending champions Monaco at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

The Brazilian curled in a brilliant 30-metre free-kick after just five minutes at the Parc des Princes before sliding in Edinson Cavani to double the lead seven minutes later.

Thomas Meunier's excellent side-footed finish made it 3-0 to PSG on 21 minutes, but Bordeaux hit back on the half-hour as Younousse Sankhare applied the final touch to a slick team move.

PSG were then awarded a penalty, the first since a row between Neymar and Cavani over spot-kick duties overshadowed a 2-0 win against Lyon a fortnight ago, with Neymar this time stepping up to convert.

"For me, the important thing with penalties is to score them," said PSG coach Unai Emery.

"The main thing is the two of them see the opportunity and they both can take penalties.

"The decision is down to those two. We've already spoken about it internally."

Fullback Meunier later revealed that the row between the pair has already been resolved, with both players taking turns when it comes to penalty-taking duties from now on.

He said: "It was arranged with the coach before today.

"If there had been another penalty, it would have been for Edi (Cavani)."

"It's been a good week. We were very, very effective today. "The system allows us to attack very, very quickly."

Neymar's father also said in an interview aired on French television yesterday that the struggle between his son and Cavani over who should take PSG's penalties was blown out of proportion.

After Neymar converted the spot-kick against Bordeaux, he was immediately hugged by his Uruguayan teammate.

"The whole thing was exaggerated," Neymar senior said of the tide of media interest in the dressing room conflict that came to be known in France as "Penaltygate".

"We saw in the game against Bayern Munich (Champions League 3-0 win last week) that there is no problem at all."

Neymar Senior said that the incident was all part and parcel of his son "leaving his comfort zone" at Barcelona for a world- record transfer fee of 222 million euros (S$356m) for the challenge of leading PSG.

Julian Draxler volleyed in a superb fifth before half-time and Kylian Mbappe added another on 58 minutes, while Malcom scored a late penalty for Bordeaux.

"It was a good win against a team that was still undefeated," said Mbappe.

"We don't need to send a message, we're just concentrating on ourselves.

"We could still do better, we're not going to be picky, but there's still room for a bit more." - WIRE SERVICES

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