Show Neymar ‘affection’, Emery tells PSG fans

PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) coach Unai Emery has called on fans to show Neymar more “affection”, despite the Brazilian’s excellent form since joining the Ligue 1 leaders.

The world’s most expensive player has struggled with injury since the winter break and was booed for taking a penalty on his only league appearance of 2018 so far against Dijon, which denied Edinson Cavani a chance to break the PSG goal scoring record.

But Neymar scored four times in an 8-0 rout that day and has been a key figure for the capital club this season with 24 goals, and Emery wants the PSG fans to get behind their star player.

PSG make Cup progress without Neymar

“We need to give Neymar affection, he’s a player we need to make the most of,” the Spaniard said after Wednesday’s 4-2 French Cup win over Guingamp. “He is here, in Paris, and he’s a great player.”

PSG’s ultras backed Neymar during the midweek game, unfurling a banner saying: “To boo players runs contrary to our values.”

PSG head into Saturday’s game against Montpellier at the Parc des Princes with an eight-point lead at the Ligue 1 summit over Lyon, after Bruno Genesio’s men became only the second team to beat them in the league this term last weekend.

Neymar was absent for the 2-1 loss with an apparent thigh problem and hasn’t played since returning from a rib injury for the thrashing of Dijon, while reports in Spain have claimed Real Madrid are hopeful of signing the 25-year-old.

Neymar booed as PSG look towards Lyon

“He’s continuing his recovery with the physio, I hope he’ll be back with the team very soon,” Emery added.

Kylian Mbappe is also an injury worry for the match against Montpellier, who have the best defensive record in the French top flight, having been stretchered off last Sunday after a clash with Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

“He’s fine, we’ll see if he can return on Saturday, but I hope he’ll be ready at the latest for Lille (on February 3). It was a hard knock and the risk is getting another blow,” said Emery.

Despite PSG's dominance Cavani failed to get on the scoresheet as he pursues a record 157th goal

  • Neymar booed as PSG look towards Lyon

    The Brazilian was whistled by his own fans for denying Cavani the chance to break Ibrahimovic's PSG goals record

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