Match-winner Neymar believes Sunday's hard-earned 1-0 victory away to Lyon shows an in-form Paris Saint-Germain are continuing to improve.

The rejuvenated Brazil international continued to win back fans in the French capital by brilliantly beating Anthony Lopes in the 87th minute of a patient PSG performance.

It was his second late winner in as many weeks, Neymar having also seen off Strasbourg with a stoppage-time stunner seven days earlier.

The two narrow Ligue 1 wins offered fewer fireworks than the convincing midweek Champions League triumph over Real Madrid but PSG's star forward welcomed the latest success as another valuable step forward.

"It was a very difficult match," Neymar said after the clash with Sylvinho's side.

"Lyon is a very strong team. They defended very well and played with very dangerous counter-attacks.

"Every game, we improve our level. We really played well."

Neymar has now scored twice in his two matches since returning to Thomas Tuchel's team following a turbulent few months dominated by transfer speculation.

The 27-year-old's successful integration back into the starting XI has proved timely given the absence of injured pair Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, who is close to recovering from a hamstring injury.

"Scoring is always good for the confidence," Neymar said. "I hope to continue like that."

The win at Lyon lifted PSG to five wins from six in Ligue 1.

The champions are back in action on Wednesday, at home to 10th-placed Reims.

Ander Herrera backed Neymar to win the Ballon d'Or one day after the forward's impressive start to the season for Paris Saint-Germain continued.

Neymar scored his second late winner in as many games this campaign, leading PSG to a 1-0 victory over Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

The forward was heavily linked with a return to Barcelona during the transfer window, but ended up staying in Paris and has starred on his return.

Herrera, who arrived at PSG in July, believes the Brazil international is a future Ballon d'Or winner.

"I'm delighted to play with Neymar. I will not talk about his transfer window," the midfielder said, via L'Equipe.

"Now, Neymar is with us. He is a fantastic player who can be Ballon d'Or, this season, in a year, in two years.

"We are very happy. I hope he can play like that all season."

PSG's win saw them move seven points clear of ninth-placed Lyon, although their lead at the top is just three points to Angers and Nice.

But Herrera laughed off any suggestions the title was already won for Thomas Tuchel's men.

"No, there are only six matches. I just saw the table. There is Rennes, Angers, Marseille," he said.

"We respect a lot of teams and all opponents. We will always play with respect."

Mauro Icardi said he left Inter for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain to win titles.

Icardi moved to PSG on an initial season-long loan, with the French giants reportedly holding the option to buy the striker for €70million.

The 26-year-old, who arrived at Inter from Sampdoria in 2013, scored 111 Serie A goals and 124 goals in all competitions to be eighth on the Nerazzurri's all-time list.

Icardi – stripped of the Inter captaincy last season and frozen out by head coach Antonio Conte – said the time was right to leave San Siro.

"I came here to play," Icardi told Canal+. "If you arrive with an option to buy, you know the player has to give his best to ensure the club decides to purchase him outright. We'll see what happens next summer.

"I was in my seventh year at Inter and my dream was to play in the Champions League with Inter, which I did last season, but we never won anything.

"I thought the time had come for me to go to a winning club, one that could challenge for and win titles. It's time for me to start winning.

"The truth is that PSG is a squad full of champions and that is what I wanted."

Icardi made his debut in PSG's 1-0 win over Strasbourg on September 14 before starting in last week's memorable 3-0 Champions League victory against Real Madrid.

However, the Argentina international missed Sunday's late triumph at Ligue 1 rivals Lyon.

"People call me a 'killer' in the penalty area. I am always ready in the box to score goals," Icardi added. "Ever since my debut when very young for Rosario, my objective and obsession has always been to score goals."

Thomas Tuchel believes Neymar will get even better after another late winner for Paris Saint-Germain, while insisting the forward was "100 per cent" with the squad.

Neymar has quickly put an off-season transfer saga behind him, scoring two late winners in as many games, including in Sunday's 1-0 victory at Lyon.

Tuchel said the Brazil forward will improve at PSG, who hold a three-point lead atop the Ligue 1 table.

"He can still do better. It's only his second or third game in four months," the PSG head coach said, via L'Equipe.

"He can do better and he will do better because he will gain in a physical capacity, but it's Ney, he's always decisive. He always thinks to play forward, to attack.

"We need players like that in tough games like this to make a difference in one-on-ones."

Neymar was heavily linked with a return to LaLiga champions Barcelona during the close season, but ended up staying in Paris.

Tuchel said the 27-year-old forward was committed to PSG despite wanting the off-season move to Barca.

"He has a contract so of course he is 100 per cent with us," he said. "I can even confirm that he is 100 per cent involved with us on the field and 100 per cent in the group.

"He laughs a lot with his team-mates, it's normal for him and it's good for the team."

Tuchel added: "He is here to score, he is there to do decisive things so I am very demanding with him."

Neymar was once again the hero for Paris Saint-Germain as his late goal secured a 1-0 win over Lyon on Sunday.

Having scored a stunning stoppage-time winner against Strasbourg last weekend, the Brazil international sealed all three points against Sylvinho's side with another brilliant finish, this time in the 87th minute.

The 27-year-old – who routinely had objects thrown at home by home fans when taking corners in the second half – collected Angel Di Maria's pass before turning away from Kenny Tete and firing a low drive into Anthony Lopes' bottom-left corner.

The win moves the reigning champions three points above Angers and Nice at the top of the Ligue 1 table, while Lyon languish in ninth.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is at the wheel but for how long?

After a blistering start to life at Manchester United, initially as interim manager, the Red Devils have struggled to convince.

United have won two of their opening five games ahead of Sunday's trip to West Ham and Paris could be the location of a possible replacement…

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND BARCA BATTLE FOR TUCHEL

Manchester United have sounded out Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel, according to Le10 Sport.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed a permanent three-year deal after initially replacing Jose Mourinho in December, but the Red Devils have been far from convincing following a brief upturn in results.

United have reportedly informed Tuchel of their interest, though LaLiga champions Barcelona are also tracking the German as pressure mounts on Ernesto Valverde after Saturday's shock loss at Granada.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to the Sunday Express, Tottenham have identified Leicester City star James Maddison as a potential replacement for soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen. Maddison has also been heavily linked to Manchester United.

United, meanwhile, have been told it will take £90million (€101m) to lure Germany star Kai Havertz from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, claims the Express. The 20-year-old is also attracting interest from Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Liverpool. As for United and their hopes of signing RB Salzburg star Erling Haaland, they could be scuppered by agent Mino Raiola. The 19-year-old made headlines with a hat-trick on his Champions League debut. However, United's relationship with Raiola could thwart their plans, writes The Sun.

- The Mirror says Arsenal are keen to re-sign PSV's Donyell Malen, who left the Gunners two years ago. It could cost Arsenal up to £50m (€56m) to bring the 20-year-old back to London. Liverpool are also believed to be interested.

- Marca reports that Real Madrid are keen to sign Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga. The 16-year-old has dazzled in Ligue 1 this season.

Paris Saint-Germain's attacking depth is set to be tested with Mauro Icardi, Pablo Sarabia and Kylian Mbappe all set to miss Sunday's match against Lyon.

New signings Icardi and Sarabia started the midweek Champions League victory over Real Madrid but have been ruled out of the Ligue 1 trip to face Sylvinho's side.

Neymar, scorer of last weekend's winner against Strasbourg, will be available after missing the Madrid match due to his European suspension, which runs for one more game.

But fellow forward Mbappe has been deemed not ready to return from the hamstring injury he suffered against Toulouse last month.

Edinson Cavani went off with a muscle problem in the same game and likewise remains unavailable for coach Thomas Tuchel.

"Mbappe is very close but his recovery is not finished," Tuchel said at Saturday's pre-match news conference.

"Pablo's injury was bad luck as it happened when he took a shot.

"With Mauro, we already took risks to start him against Real Madrid. The problem is that each injury has consequences for another player."

Icardi and Sarabia were both withdrawn in the second half on Wednesday, albeit not before a brilliant Angel Di Maria double had effectively seen off his former employers.

Thomas Meunier rounded out the 3-0 triumph in added time and Tuchel stressed the need for PSG to maintain that standard.

"It helps the atmosphere," he said of the victory. "The challenge is to do it again. We are confident, but we have to show our quality again and again.

"Pressure is always there, it's normal at a big club like PSG.

"It was very demanding physically and mentally to play Real Madrid at home in the Champions League. It was necessary to recover and enjoy the win, and now we have to refocus. It's a big challenge."

Barcelona chief executive Oscar Grau has confirmed Ernesto Valverde asked the club to buy Neymar, as the Spanish champions consider whether to make any future bids to Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar was strongly linked with a return to Camp Nou, with PSG sporting director Leonardo confirming the Brazilian was for sale having asked to leave the French capital.

But despite Barca reportedly making a series of cash-plus-players offers to PSG, no deal could be completed before September 2's European transfer deadline.

Neymar scored on his first Ligue 1 appearance this term after failing to get his desired move, but PSG ultras have indicated he will not be welcomed back to the fray quickly.

Real Madrid have also long been linked with a move for Neymar, with Grau unwilling to say whether Barcelona will continue to pursue a deal for the Brazil forward.

"Neymar was a request from the sports area and the coach and the club did everything in order to get him, albeit in a financially sustainable way," Grau said on Thursday.

"We made many proposals to PSG. They always rejected them. I don't know if we are going to target him again next summer. Planning for next season will be done in the future.

"We would have been delighted to have the chance to bring Neymar back, but the terms always had to be reasonable.

"If some parameters had been accomplished, it would have been possible, but PSG were not happy about losing him."

Barca also missed out on Matthijs de Ligt, who opted not to follow his Netherlands team-mate Frenkie de Jong from Ajax to Camp Nou.

"We made him an offer, but he preferred to go to Juve, where Italian taxation allows him to earn a higher net salary," Grau added.

Neymar was met by boos on his return to action for Paris Saint-Germain and Thomas Tuchel will understand if supporters continue to subject him to jeers.

The Brazil international, who is suspended for Wednesday's Champions League clash with reported suitors Real Madrid, shrugged off the rough treatment to score a spectacular overhead kick winner in a 1-0 victory over Strasbourg on Saturday.

Neymar said afterwards that all matches would be "away games" for him now, having irked fans with his desire to leave the club in the last transfer window.

Tuchel reiterated there is no issue between him and the former Barcelona star, but can see why fans may choose not to forgive Neymar for his actions.

"He did not want to be here. He tried everything that was in his power [to leave the club]," Tuchel told DAZN. 

"That did not help make him popular. You could feel that and I can understand it, if the crowd are angry, even permanently.

"Nevertheless, there is also a side between me as a coach and him as a player. There was never a break or a discrepancy. That's why it was very easy for me to let him play.

"He has always trained professionally. I feel that the decision was a relief to him, even though it fell against his wish.

"Then the concentration and reflection on the task automatically occurs. As an athlete you will not have much else left. You have to give gas. He is hungry and a competitive guy who always wants to win.

"He has to withstand it now, that's the reality. He has to go through, we have to go through all in the home games a bit. The best thing is to come to terms with it."

Keeping Neymar amid interest from Barcelona was Paris Saint-Germain's most important piece of business in the transfer window, according to his team-mate Marco Verratti.

Brazil star Neymar was strongly linked with a return to Barca, whom he left two years ago in a world-record €222million move.

The two clubs held meetings and Barca confirmed their interest in the forward, but their reported offer of €130m plus Ivan Rakitic, Jean-Clair Todibo and Ousmane Dembele – the latter apparently having been offered on loan – fell short when the former Borussia Dortmund winger rejected a proposed switch.

As such, many consider PSG's Champions League chances to be greater, and although suspension rules him out of their first two games of the European campaign, Verratti believes retaining Neymar's services was the best bit of recruitment work the club did in the transfer window.

"We need players like Neymar or Kylian [Mbappe], who are a bit above everyone else," Verratti told reporters.

"Neymar had a difficult time with off-field moments that have somewhat destabilised him, but when he learned that he was staying, I saw him with a smile as always.

"He loves football, he is a player who will help us a lot. We are lucky to have him in Paris, we must enjoy him. I know the fans have not forgotten [what happened], but I hope Neymar will do everything [to forget the drama] and we will celebrate all this together at the end of the season.

"In football, there are always some nice moments and I hope that it will end well. Neymar will give 110 per cent.

"Neymar is perhaps the most important player we recruited. There are more favoured teams than us, but we will give everything.

"If we go out, it'll because the opponents are better than us, but I do not want to go out and have regrets like last year [against Manchester United]."

Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani will all miss PSG's Group A opener against Real Madrid on Wednesday, meaning Mauro Icardi could lead the line at the Parc des Princes.

The Argentina forward featured as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Strasbourg on Saturday and, although Verratti accepts he is still integrating, he is confident Icardi will prove his worth.

"It takes a little more time to get to know everyone, but it's easy to play with him," Verratti said of the on-loan Inter forward.

"He can score at any time. He can help us, he knows how to play with his team-mates and we are happy.

"We have to wait a bit to see the real Icardi. He has been out for a long time, but he is a magnificent player."

Neymar has had his European suspension reduced from three matches to two on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The ban, extending across all UEFA competitions, was imposed upon the Paris Saint-Germain forward following his foul-mouthed Instagram outburst about the match officials who presided over the club's Champions League loss to Manchester United in March.

Neymar was upset with the awarding of a late penalty in the second-leg meeting at Parc des Princes, which knocked PSG out of the competition at the last-16 stage.

"This is a disgrace, they put four people that know nothing about football in charge of looking at the replay for VAR," he wrote at the time.

"There is no penalty. How can it be a handball when it hits his back! Go f*** yourselves!"

Neymar's initial appeal was rejected by UEFA in June but CAS has seen fit to lower the ban to two European games, the smallest possible sanction under the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.

The decision means the Brazil international will be eligible to feature in the Champions League trip to Club Brugge on October 22, PSG's third Group A fixture.

Thomas Tuchel's men first face Real Madrid in Paris on Wednesday and Galatasaray in Istanbul on October 1.

Having attempted to secure a return to Barcelona during the close-season transfer window, Neymar only returned to the pitch for PSG over the weekend.

The 27-year-old marked his club comeback with a spectacular stoppage-time winner in the 1-0 victory over Strasbourg in Ligue 1.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo admits not everything is resolved with Neymar, but he wants the constant talk around the player to end.

Having failed to secure his desired move back to Barcelona in the transfer window, Neymar made his first appearance of the season in Saturday's Ligue 1 meeting with Strasbourg.

The Brazil star was booed by PSG fans with almost every touch but went on to score the winning goal in the 1-0 victory with a stunning overhead kick in the 92nd minute.

The 27-year-old said afterwards that he expects every game to be like an away match given PSG fans' frustration with his desire to leave the club.

Leonardo is not prepared to ignore Neymar's determination to force an exit just two years on from his €222million arrival, but he insists his compatriot should be allowed the freedom to make amends without scrutiny of his every word and action.

"Neymar made mistakes, yes, but when the transfer window ended he came back in a positive way," Leonardo told RMC.

"He showed up on time [for training] after his matches with Brazil and he behaved very well. He played an important game in not easy conditions. And he scored a spectacular goal, in a Hollywood scenario. And, after the match, he made an honest and very good statement.

"It's certain that, if we look at what he said word for word, we'll always find things to comment on. And it's true that we can't say today that everything is settled. But you can't make a Mexican telenovela around it all. We have to play and to train.

"He is now subject to the same internal rules as all the other players. He's here and he's part of the club.

"Neymar is not a bad guy. He's part of the heritage of football, not just PSG. When you look at the squad, and what we have, for sure we are stronger with him."

PSG meet Real Madrid at Parc des Princes on Tuesday in their opening Champions League group game, with Neymar unavailable due to a three-game suspension.

Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe are set to miss out through injury, leaving Mauro Icardi and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting as PSG's primary attacking options.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel said Neymar had to accept the boos from fans after he marked his return with a spectacular winner against Strasbourg.

Playing his first game of the season for PSG, Neymar produced a moment of magic in additional time, scoring an acrobatic goal to lift PSG to a 1-0 win on Saturday.

But the Brazil star was targeted by his own fans, booed after an off-season transfer saga during which he reportedly pushed for a return to Barcelona.

Tuchel said the 27-year-old needed to accept being booed by supporters, but he praised Neymar's response.

"It was not easy because he is a sensitive guy, but he did well," he told a news conference.

"That's the life, it's not easy for the fans too during the transfer market. That's why we have to accept their behaviour. I don't want to judge their behaviour, it's like that. It was not easy.

"He can play better, with more dribbling and more accelerations. He needs several games in order to find the right rhythm and his physical abilities to make our game faster with his sprints.

"He has the quality to decide the destiny of a game. I am happy he showed that in the last minute."

PSG hold a two-point lead atop Ligue 1 after claiming their fourth victory in five league games.

They host Real Madrid in a blockbuster Champions League clash on Wednesday.

Neymar claimed he can handle hostility from Paris Saint-Germain fans and "personal reasons" were behind his desire to quit the club.

The Brazil forward was jeered by PSG's supporters during Saturday's Ligue 1 victory over Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes.

Neymar secured all three points for his side with a spectacular bicycle kick in injury time.

He celebrated the goal but opted not to acknowledge the crowd at the full-time whistle as he quickly departed the pitch.

It was the 27-year-old’s first club appearance of the season, Neymar having not been selected by PSG coach Thomas Tuchel amid speculation over his future.

Neymar had reportedly hankered for a move to former club Barcelona only for it to not materialise before the transfer window closed.

A PSG ultra group accused Neymar of being "disrespectful" and condemned the way he "humiliated" the club with his behaviour during the saga.

However, the player insisted there were justifiable reasons behind his desire to leave as he vowed to ignore any antagonism.

"I've played in several stadiums being booed. It's sad, but I know from now on it's going to be like playing every game away from home," Neymar told reporters.

"I make it clear that I have nothing against the fans, nor anything against Paris Saint-Germain, but everyone knows I wanted to leave, and I made that clear.

"There were some reasons, mostly personal [for wanting to leave PSG]. I make it clear that it was nothing against PSG and not the fans. 

"But when you don't feel good at one job, you look for another. For personal reasons. I had mine, and I wanted to leave."

Neymar refused to delive into the specific reasons why he was unable to secure a move away from PSG.

But with his immediate future now with the defending French champions he has promised to draw a line under the transfer saga and give his all for PSG's cause.

"I will not go into details of what happened in the negotiations. The people here know what happened and this is a turned page," he added.

"I made it very clear to everyone and did my best, but unfortunately they didn't.

"Today I am a PSG player and I promise to give everything on the pitch, fulfil my role and be happy on the pitch. I repeat there are no problems.

"This is a turned page. This is the first time I'm talking about it, and it will be the last. From now on my head is in Paris."

Neymar was given a hostile reception by Paris Saint-Germain supporters but scored a brilliant volleyed winner in a 1-0 victory over Strasbourg on his return to action.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel did not select Neymar while there was uncertainty over the Brazil international's future, amid speculation he was trying to engineer a return to Barcelona.

The close of the transfer window ensured the 27-year-old would remain with the Ligue 1 side for the immediate future and he appeared at club level for the first time this season on Saturday.

Neymar was booed by large sections of the home support whenever he touched the ball but he had the last word in injury time with a stunning overhead kick to give PSG the points.

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