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Champions League recap: Paris recover from slow start

Paris started slowly but have hit form in Europe thanks to Neymar's goals.

Watch all of Paris' group stage goals
Watch all of Paris' group stage goals

Paris began their UEFA Champions League campaign in lacklustre fashion but have since gone through the gears with in-form Neymar at the wheel.

UEFA.tv: group stage review


Campaign so far

Highlights: Paris 5-1 İstanbul Başakşehir (2 mins)
Highlights: Paris 5-1 İstanbul Başakşehir (2 mins)

Group H winners: W4 D0 L2 F13 A6
Top scorer: Neymar (6)

20/10: Paris 1-2 Man. United (Martial 55og)
28/10: Başakşehir 0-2 Paris (Kean 64, 79)
04/11: Leipzig 2-1 Paris (Di María 6)
24/11: Paris 1-0 Leipzig (Neymar 11pen)
02/12: Man. United 1-3 Paris (Neymar 6, 90+1, Marquinhos 69)
09/12: Paris 5-1 Başakşehir (Neymar 21, 38, 50, Mbappé 42pen, 62)

Their campaign in ten words: Gutsy win in Manchester eased pressure after uncertain opening sequence.

UEFA.com reporter’s view

Stodgy at the start, strong at the finish. That sums it up for Paris, who kicked off with a mental and physical hangover from their run to the final last August. The French champions had to dig deep to stave off total disaster at times, before ultimately rediscovering their poise in a campaign spearheaded by Neymar at one end and Marquinhos at the other. Could that Old Trafford triumph serve as a springboard?
Chris Burke, Paris reporter

What we’ve learned

2020 final highlights: Paris 0-1 Bayern
2020 final highlights: Paris 0-1 Bayern

Coming off the back of their first UEFA Champions League final, Paris endured their worst group stage start since 2004, picking up three points from three games. An exhausting August had taken its toll with key players – most notably Kylian Mbappé – struggling with injury or fatigue.

Then Neymar stepped up, netting six goals in three matches to help the capital club to the top of the tree. Mauricio Pochettino has since replaced Thomas Tuchel at the helm and will have plenty in his in-tray.

Squad changes

In: none
Out: Bandiougou Fadiga, Maxen Kapo, Kays Ruiz-Atil

Key stats

• Neymar is the first player in the history of the European Cup to notch 20 goals for two different outfits (Barcelona and Paris).

• At 21 years and 11 months, Mbappé became the youngest player to reach 20 goals in the UEFA Champions League, breaking the previous landmark held by Lionel Messi (22 years and 8 months).

Highlights: Man. United 1-3 Paris (2 mins)
Highlights: Man. United 1-3 Paris (2 mins)

• The away team has prevailed on all four occasions that Paris and United have met in the UEFA Champions League.

Who’s in charge?

Pochettino ended a 13-month coaching hiatus by taking the Paris reins on 2 January. The 48-year-old Argentine got to the UEFA Champions League final with Tottenham in 2019 but departed before the end of that calendar year – a similar fate befell his PSG predecessor Tuchel in 2020.