PARIS-Paris St Germain extended their perfect start to the Ligue 1 campaign with a 3-0 home win over St Etienne watched by NBA star Stephen Curry, who attended the match as a special guest of the French side’s Brazil forward Neymar on Friday.
Golden State Warriors player Curry received a PSG team shirt with his name emblazoned on the back and took a ceremonial kick off before moving to the Parc Des Princes VIP section for the start of the game.
Neymar was returning Curry’s hospitality after being his guest in the 2017 NBA finals when the Warriors blew away the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Two goals by Edinson Cavani either side of a 51st-minute effort by Italy’s Brazilian-born midfielder Thiago Motta kept PSG top of the standings with a maximum 12 points from four games.
Neymar, who racked up three goals and as many assists in his opening two matches for PSG, looked somewhat subdued in Curry’s presence and many of his passes went astray.
However, two trademark moments of brilliance from the 25-year old were enough to pick the lock.
On 20 minutes he delivered an inch-perfect pass to Cavani, who was hauled down by Saido Janko. The Uruguay striker converted the spot kick to put the home side ahead.
Motta doubled the lead, drilling in an unstoppable close-range shot after Marquinhos chested down an expertly floated Neymar free kick into the penalty box.
PSG keeper Alphonse Areola made several good saves as St Etienne, after soaking up incessant pressure, threatened to claw their way back into the game from rare breakaway moves.
Cavani extended his recent good form with his second goal and fifth in four league games when he rounded off a flowing move with a backheel finish from close range in the 90th minute.
In the round’s other standout fixtures, Nantes are at home to Lyon on Saturday while champions Monaco entertain 1993 Champions League winners Marseille on Sunday.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic)