‘Infuriating’ Neymar set out to ‘wind up’ Celtic, says coach Neil Lennon after friendly defeat by PSG

Scottish side’s trip to France ended with a 4-0 defeat by the Ligue 1 champions in Paris

Alex Pattle
Wednesday 22 July 2020 15:35
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Celtic coach Neil Lennon has accused Neymar of trying to “wind up” his players in a friendly between the Scottish side and French champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Brazil international Neymar netted in his team’s 4-0 victory over the Scottish Premiership winners after Kylian Mbappe opened the scoring in the first minute.

Former Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera and Pablo Sarabia doubled the deficit in the second half at the Parc des Princes in the French capital.

Lennon credited his players with not “taking the bait” as Neymar made the most of the occasion.

“He was just trying to wind people up,” Lennon told the Daily Record of the 28-year-old.

“I said to the players you just have to keep your discipline and not take the bait really.

“He is infuriating, but he knows it.”

Lennon had kinder words for Mbappe, praising the France international for his “pace” and “purpose”, and was not afraid to admit that PSG were operating on another level to Celtic.

“After a minute you’re thinking: ‘Oh dear,’” the Northern Irishman said.

“That quality is world class. 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 there. Hopefully they can take a lot from it physically and mentally.”

Celtic begin their Scottish Premiership title defence against Hamilton Academical on 2 August.

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