Paris Saint-Germain's 5-2 win over Montpellier in Ligue 1 on Saturday has been overshadowed by yet more drama surrounding Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.
Neymar was on target twice at the Parc des Princes, while Mbappe scored in the comprehensive victory – but none of the forwards appeared particularly happy.
Mbappe saw his first-half penalty saved by Jonas Omlin and after scoring his first Ligue 1 goal of the season in the second half, seemed to stop running in frustration at not receiving the ball in another promising PSG attack.
Vitinha instead passed to Messi and Mbappe waved an arm in frustration as he gave up on his run down the left. Ironically, he may have been left with a simple finish had he continued.
Mbappé desistindo e virando as costas pro lance depois de não receber o passe que queria (já imagino a choradeira e a encheção de saco se fosse outro jogador aí)pic.twitter.com/QMb3O89wfUAugust 13, 2022
"Kylian played his last game three weeks ago so I knew it was going to be tough on a physical level for him," PSG coach Christophe Galtier told Canal Plus.
"He's a competitor. He wants to be good and he wants to be good quickly, but a top footballer is not on and off like that... it takes a little time to regain 100 per cent of his athletic abilities.
"When he's at 100%, he'll make the difference even more. These are players who like to score, who want to score, who attack. It's a bit normal for him to be disappointed at being a little short physically compared to his team-mates."
Meanwhile, midfielder Marco Verratti admitted Mbappe was upset at missing the penalty.
"With the penalty, he sulked a bit but that's normal. He's a great player, he wants to make a difference," he said.
"It's good when he's angry, it means he cares about this team."
Great to have you back, @KMbappe! #PSGMHSC I 4-1 pic.twitter.com/1v7H2el0zJAugust 13, 2022
Neymar was not happy, either. When PSG were awarded a second penalty, he scored it but is clearly angered at not being first choice on spot-kick duties.
The Brazilian later gave a like to a tweet from a fan which read: "Now it's official, Mbappe is the one who takes the penalties at PSG. Clearly this is a contract thing, because in no club in the world that has Neymar, he would be the second taker, none!! It seems that because of the contract, Mbappe is the owner of PSG!!"
He liked another from a Brazilian football site which said: "Mbappe hit [his penalty] VERY badly and missed it. After the game, the coach said that Mbappe will be the team's main taken for the season. An absurdity!"
Agora é oficial, Mbappe é quem bate os pênaltis no PSG. Claramente isso é coisa de contrato, pois em nenhum clube do mundo que tenha Neymar, ele seria o segundo cobrador, nenhum!!Parece que por causa do contrato, Mbappe é o dono do PSG!! 🤬🤬 pic.twitter.com/05kK1AbPG2August 13, 2022
Messi, who hit an incredible overhead kick last weekend away to Clermont Foot, did not score or assist against Montpellier (although he did set up Neymar for a strike which was ruled out late on).
However, the Argentine was effective in a playmaking role on Saturday and did win PSG's second penalty of the afternoon.
And on social media, a number of fans accused wing-back Achraf Hakimi of ignoring the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, instead passing to his close friend Mbappe.
PSG is such a funny team, Mbappe and Hakimi vs Messi and Neymar. 😂August 14, 2022
Achraf Hakimi always ignores Messi and Neymar in the final third.Oh wait, he is Mbappé 's best friend.August 13, 2022
Clearly, there are some issues bubbling under the surface at the Parisian club and even though the season has started with three wins, coach Galtier has work to do if he is to keep his three forwards happy in 2022/23.
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