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Alves denies favouritism in explaining Neymar-Cavani spat at Paris Saint-Germain

17:28 GMT+3 18/09/2017
Neymar Cavani penalty PSG
The Brazilian claims that he had intended to take a much-publicised free-kick before his fellow countryman snatched the ball and took it himself

Dani Alves insists he did not favour Neymar in his free-kick feud with Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Edinson Cavani.

The PSG pair butted heads on a couple of occasions during the 2-0 Ligue 1 victory over Lyon on Sunday.

Late on, Cavani won an argument with his Brazilian colleague after seeing Unai Emery’s side awarded a penalty – only to then see his effort saved.

Prior to that, the duo had squabbled over the taking of a 48th-minute free-kick, with Alves also involved in the incident as he first grabbed the ball before appearing to surrender it to Neymar.

The experienced full-back claims that was not the case, and that he was not trying to prevent Cavani from standing over the set-piece, telling SporTV: "I was going to take it. I got the ball to take the free-kick, because I've scored some stunning goals.

"I was confident. But that's not important. What's important is that the team is more important than any individual.

“At that point I wanted to take responsibility, but then Ney took the ball and ended up shooting. 

“I took the ball with the aim of shooting, but unfortunately I couldn't.”

It had been suggested that Alves had picked up the ball and purposely kept Cavani away from it until Neymar arrived on the scene.

Whatever happened, Emery is eager to ensure that no divides are allowed to form within his star-studded squad.

He told reporters on the penalty incident: "The penalties are to be struck by a few players, one is Cavani and the other is Neymar.

"It takes a gentleman's agreement on the ground to hit the penalties. 

"Afterwards, we will arrange internally for the penalties that are coming in, because I think both are able to score them, and I want the two to alternate in this exercise.

"If there is no agreement, I will decide. I do not want it to be a problem for us."

Victory over Lyon allowed PSG to stretch their faultless start to the Ligue 1 season to six games, with a three-point lead opened up on reigning champions Monaco.