Neymar bags three for ruthless PSG in suspended Champions League clash
Paris: Neymar scored a hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain topped Champions League Group H with a 5-1 home victory over Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday, a day after the game was suspended amid an alleged racist incident.
The PSG and Basaksehir players, as well as the three field referees, took a knee before kick-off one day after both teams walked off in protest after the Turkish side had accused the assistant referee of using a racist word against their assistant coach Pierre Webo.
Meanwhile, 13-time champions Real Madrid, whose passage to the next stage was not guaranteed heading into their final group match, advanced courtesy of a 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Zinedine Zidane's side topped Group B courtesy of a first-half double from Karim Benzema.
"The victory was very important for our confidence," said Brazilian foward Vinicius jnr.
"We had played well in the other games but the victory never came but we didn't have any doubts and we went out to win the match.
"We know the pressure we are under but we like it and we know how to keep our heads."
In Paris, Vinicius' countryman Neymar struck three times and Kylian Mbappe scored his first goals in the competition in a year as PSG, who had already qualified for the last 16, advanced from the group stage with 12 points, ahead of RB Leipzig thanks to their better head-to-head record against the German side.
Webo, who had been sent off, had his red card suspended pending a UEFA investigation into the incident and the Cameroonian sat on the bench with the rest of the team's staff.
Neymar opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a splendid curled shot from outside the area that went into the top corner.
A sharp counter-attack then led Mbappe to play through Neymar, who doubled the French champions' lead with a cross shot in the 38th.
Mbappe made it 3-0 three minutes before the break with a penalty awarded after keeper Mert Gunok had brought down Neymar. Mitchel Bakker had followed up and tapped in but he was ruled offside following a VAR review and referee Danny Makkelie gave PSG the spot-kick.
France striker Mbappe, 21, became the youngest player to score 20 goals in the Champions League.
Neymar, who has scored six goals from five appearances in the competition this season, added the fourth five minutes into the second half with a powerful strike from just inside the area.
Basaksehir, who had drawn two and lost three of their last five competitive games, had little to offer but they reduced he arrears in the 57th thanks to a powerful Mehmet Topal volley.
But PSG restored their four-goal advantage when Mbappe, who had not netted in his nine previous Champions League appearances, tapped in from Angel Di Maria's pass on 62 minutes.
Basaksehir, who were eliminated from all European competitions before kick-off, finished bottom of the group with three points.
Third-placed Manchester United will play in the Europa League last 32 after picking up nine points.
- Zenit 1 Dortmund 2
- Lazio 2 Club Brugge 2
- Barcelona 0 Juventus 3
- Chelsea 1 Krasnodar 1
- RB Leipzig 3 Manchester United 2
- Dynamo Kyiv 1 Ferencvaros 0
- Rennes 1 Sevilla 3
- Midtjylland 1 Liverpool 1
- PSG 5 Istanbul Basaksehir 1
- Ajax 0 Atalanta 1
- Bayern 2 Lokomotiv Moscow 0
- Real Madrid 2 Moenchengladbach 0
- RB Salzburg 0 Atletico Madrid 2
- Manchester City 3 Marseille 0
- Inter Milan 0 Shakhtar Donetsk 0
- Olympiacos 0 Porto 2
In other results Thursday (AEDT), champions Bayern Munich and Manchester City both finished the group stage undefeated.
The Germans beat Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 while the Mancunians were 3-0 victors over Marseille.
Elsewhere, Socceroo Awer Mabil's Champions League campaign is over though his Danish side FC Midtjylland can hang their heads high after holding six-time European champions Liverpool to a 1-1 draw.
Mohamed Salah became Liverpool's all-time top scorer in the Champions League when he put the Premier League champions ahead in the first minute, latching on to a poor backpass and bursting goalwards before slipping the ball past goalkeeper Jesper Hansen.
The goal was Salah's 22nd in the Champions League.
The Danes drew level in the 62nd minute through an Alexander Scholz penalty after Liverpool keeper Caoimhin Kelleher brought down Anders Dreyer.
The linesman had initially flagged for offside but that decision was overturned by VAR.
A late goal from Luis Muriel earned Atalanta a 1-0 win at 10-man Ajax Amsterdam on Wednesday and sent the Italian side into the Champions League knockout stages at the expense of their Dutch hosts.
Ajax needed victory at the Amsterdam Arena to pip their Italian visitors to second place in Group D behind Liverpool but failed to create many chances as Atalanta produced an astute performance topped off by a breakaway goal in the 85th minute.
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