Neymar scores as PSG beats Marseille to win Champions Trophy
LENS, France (AP) — Neymar scored a late penalty as Paris Saint-Germain beat Marseille 2-1 on Wednesday to win the Champions Trophy and give new coach Mauricio Pochettino his first piece of silverware.
It took Pochettino more than 500 games to finally earn a trophy after starting his coaching career 12 years ago with Spanish club Espanyol. He lost two finals with English side Tottenham — in the 2015 League Cup and the 2019 Champions League.
Neymar missed five games with an ankle injury and came off the bench midway though the second half. With five minutes remaining he sent substitute goalkeeper Yohann Pele the wrong way from the spot after Pele had fouled striker Mauro Icardi.
Icardi opened the scoring in the 39th minute, having an earlier goal disallowed for offside. He met Angel Di Maria’s cross with a scuffed header which goalie Steve Mandanda should have dealt with. Instead he spilled the ball onto the post to allow Icardi a simple tap in.
Neymar’s goal should have settled PSG’s nerves, but Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet nipped in at the front post with a fine finish from Florian Thauvin’s cross in the 89th, and then Thauvin blazed over in the fifth minute of injury time as PSG held on.
“We played well despite the defeat,” Thauvin said. “Unfortunately we conceded a penalty which hurt us.”
The Champions Trophy pits the league champion against the French Cup holder. Since PSG won both last season it faced league runner-up Marseille.
Icardi netted from close range midway through the first half but Kylian Mbappe was clearly offside when he squared the ball to him. Moments later, Mbappe had a goal chalked off for offside after latching on to a long pass from Marquinhos.
Mandanda appeared to sustain a thigh injury late in the half and was replaced by fellow veteran Pele after the break.
Although Neymar came on midway through the second half, PSG hardly threatened until Icardi darted into the box and was clattered by Pele as he tried to go around him.
Referee Ruddy Buquet consulted a video replay before awarding a penalty.
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