PARIS (AFP) – Neymar scored a stunning hat-trick as Paris Saint-Germain romped to a 5-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday (Dec 9) when their Champions League match restarted a day after being suspended in an unprecedented walkout over a racism row.
Both sets of players and the match officials took a knee on the pitch before resuming the match which had been halted in the 14th minute on Tuesday amid accusations the Romanian fourth official had used a racist term to describe Basaksehir’s Cameroonian assistant coach, Pierre Webo.
Neymar, who took to Instagram in the wake of the incidents to post the message “BLACK LIVES MATTER”, joined other players in sporting a T-shirt with the slogan “No To Racism” during the warm-up at the Parc des Princes.
When the game got going again, the world’s most expensive player was clearly in the mood and he put PSG in front within seven minutes of the restart with a stunning turn and nutmeg followed by a curling strike into the top corner.
The French club had already been guaranteed qualification for the last 16 after Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat by RB Leipzig in Germany on Tuesday, but they still needed to win this game to finish on top of Champions League Group H.
Kylian Mbappe set up Neymar to make it 2-0, and the Brazilian then won a penalty which was converted by Mbappe for the third goal just before half-time.
It was Mbappe’s 20th Champions League goal, but his first in 10 matches in the competition since December last year.
Neymar completed his hat-trick with another tremendous hit after a one-two with Angel di Maria at the start of the second half, and Mbappe got PSG’s fifth into an open goal after Mehmet Topal had scored for Basaksehir.
The Turkish side finish bottom of the group.