Neymar Punishes Physical Play With Two Goals In Two Minutes, Including Perfect Free Kick
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As one of the fleetest-footed footballers in the world, Neymar is subject to a lot of physical abuse. Always wanting to take opponents on with his dazzling skills, defenders are often forced to resort to violence to stop the Brazilian.
But you can’t stop a perfect free kick, and Neymar punished Red Star Belgrade with just such a shot in the Champions League on Wednesday in Paris.
Attacking an empty end of the Parc des Princes stadium (Red Star fans were barred from entry based on actions of fans after the club qualified for the Champions League), Neymar was hacked down just outside the box less than 20 minutes into the match.
It was a typically hard foul on the Brazilian, who often makes a meal of contact but no doubt is on the receiving end of plenty of abuse. There was nothing malicious about this challenge in particular, but it wasn’t the first time Neymar found himself on the floor, having taken an arm to the face earlier in the match.
What followed the foul in the 19th minute was this perfect Neymar free kick vs Red Star, one the Serbian club had no chance to stop.
It was an inch-perfect shot to get over the wall and under the crossbar.
But PSG’s megastar wasn’t done.
Less than two minutes after his first goal, Neymar scored a second, starting and finishing a move to make it 2-0 after 22 minutes.
Neymar had a great chance to complete his hat trick inside 30 minutes, but skied a shot from the edge of the 18. Nonetheless, PSG was cruising in the first half thanks to the Neymar free kick vs Red Star.
While Neymar didn't score any more in the first half, PSG did.
Edinson Cavani made it 3-0 with a goal in the 36th minute, making good use of a poor clearance.
And to hammer home the point, Angel Di Maria made it 4-0 in the 41st minute, connecting with a clever cross from Thomas Meunier.
Edit: Neymar scored a second brilliant free kick in the second half, so we feel obliged to update this story to show you his third goal to complete his hat trick.