Paris, Feb 2: Brazilian striker Neymar again became the eye-catching man in Paris Saint-Germain's match on Saturday, but this time not for his goal.
The French Ligue defending champions routed Montpellier 5-0 at Parc des Princes stadium. Pablo Sarabia, Angel Di Maria, Kylian Mbappe and Layvin Kurzawa scored at home along with an own goal from Montpellier's defender Daniel Congre.
But Neymar produced most stories of the game.
The former Barcelona forward went onto the pitch with a shirt bearing the name of late Kobe Bryant and his number 24 in the pre-match warm-up. Meanwhile, he has dyed his hair with attention-grabbing pink.
It was just the beginning.
The Brazilian international was caught by the cameras chattering to the fourth official in the tunnel at half-time, after collecting a yellow card for getting right in on referee Jerome Brisard's face and complaining to him.
Neymar involved a lot in the magnificent attacking performance of PSG on the night but failed to extend his seven-game scoring run in the league.
On Sunday, Neymar is going to host a birthday party as he will turn 28 years old next Wednesday. But PSG's head coach Thomas Tuchel said it is "a distraction".
"I always want to protect my players, and if there are difficult things to talk about I prefer to say them internally," Tuchel said after the match.
"These are distractions, and they give the impression we are not serious, not professional. But I don't really want to talk about it because then these things become big issues."
PSG's star striker Mbappe also caused trouble to Tuchel. The French young man was not happy for being substituted by Mauro Icardi in the second half and remonstrated with Tuchel on the sidelines.
"(Mbappe) is very intelligent, he knows what he is doing. He doesn't like going out," Tuchel said on that.
"I'm the coach, someone has to decide who goes out and who comes in. It's me."
"I explained to him why we did this, and it will stay that way. I will always decide the technical aspects."
When asked whether Mbappe will get further punishment for his behavior. The German coach said he will "make the decision tomorrow".
PSG extended their lead on the table to 13 points after the win, while second-placed Marseille will try to close the gap in their match against Bordeaux on Sunday. (UNI-Xinhua)