Neymar suggested that speculation about his decline was premature with two sharply taken first-half goals on Saturday as Paris Saint-Germain hung on to win 3-2 at Bordeaux in Ligue 1.
The Brazilian had only scored one goal for PSG this season, and that was a penalty in September, but he struck from open play in the 26th and 43rd minutes, both times set up by Kylian Mbappe.
“He played a very good game,” said PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino. “He scored two goals. It’s important for an offensive player to score.”
Mbappe also scored as, in the absence of injured Lionel Messi, the two superstars made the difference in a well-balanced game.
For his first goal, Neymar collected a floated pass on the left of the penalty box, stepped inside and unleashed a shot between two defenders inside the post. Neymar again cut in for the second, dancing past several defenders before exchanging passes with Mbappe and hitting the return first time, low and again just inside the post.
Speculation had swirled around Neymar’s appetite for the game since he said in October that next year’s World Cup in Qatar would be his last as he “doesn’t have the strength to put up with more football”.
Mbappe added a third in…