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LENNY ACCUSES NEYMAR

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ANGRY Neil Lennon branded Neymar “a wind-up merchant” after Celtic’s 4-0 loss against Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital.

The Brazilian set up the opening goal for Kylian Mbappe inside the first minute and claimed a deflected second off Nir Bitton before half-time.

However, Neymar, no stranger to Celtic or the Hoops fans during his days at Barcelona and now at the Ligue 1 giants, annoyed the Hoops boss by his antics with visiting players such as Bitton, Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor.

TV images clearly caught him having a sly kick at the Israeli midfielder, but the match official was content to simply award a free-kick to the Hoops.

In a competitive encounter, Neymar could have seen red – the fate suffered by Scott Brown in a confrontation with the player when he was playing for the Spanish cracks in a Champions League game a few years ago.

Asked if the world superstar was infuriating, Lennon, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “He is, but he knows it. He was trying to wind people up. I said to the players: ‘You just have to keep your discipline and not take the bait’.”

He commented: “I’m a big fan of Kylian Mbappe and they’ve got quality all over the pitch.

“I was delighted with Jeremie Frimpong, he was outstanding. I’m delighted with Ryan, too. Some of our players really showed up and they can be really pleased.

“They may never get that chance to play here again and they made the most of the opportunity.”

Lennon, who saw his team draw 1-1 and lose 2-1 to Lyon in the previous two warm-up matches in France, added: “I didn’t see taking the game as a risk. I thought it was brilliant from a physical and concentration point of view and something we can build on.

“They will have felt the heat of the game but PSG are a world-class team who scored nine and then seven goals in their previous games.

“After a minute you’re thinking: ‘Oh dear . . . not a great start, lads’.

“But I thought we were very good for 40 minutes. I’m disappointed with how we started the second-half, we were a little too passive for my liking.

“But I’m pleased we’ve taken it on. I don’t think we need to be down about it.

“Sometimes the players need to see the game at that level for what it is, and how far you have to strive to get to that level.

“Hopefully, they can take a lot from it physically and mentally.”

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN PARIS

 

 
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