Paris Saint-Germain were in desperate need of a goal that would define their domestic season against Lille when Neymar was stretchered off with an ankle injury. The Brazilian, who has suffered frequent spells on the sideline since returning from the World Cup, is now likely to miss the Parisians’ second-leg Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, a game he could have massively influenced.

Indeed, the trip to Bavaria was tough enough as it is for Christophe Galtier’s side, but without Neymar, he will need Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe to step up to the plate if PSG are to restore the lead in their 1-0 aggregate deficit to Bayern and reach the last eight of the Champions League. It’s a competition that has been the currency of success on the club’s long and expensive blueprint, but aside from the 2020 final defeat behind closed doors, PSG are yet to really come close to a maiden European crown, despite the football odds consistently tipping them as favourites.

Neymar’s record-breaking move to the French capital six years ago was supposed to represent a catalyst that would springboard PSG to superstardom, but injuries have limited Neymar’s influence in the knockout rounds throughout his time at the Parc des Princes. His latest ankle knock is a major setback for Galtier, who expressed his frustration with another marquee absence as his job hangs perilously on the line.

“This is not bad luck,” Galtier said when asked for an update on Neymar’s condition. “There are always reasons for injuries – the schedule, the sequence of games. It is never random. He is being examined to know the severity of his sprain.

“Of course, it complicates things and that’s the way it is. We have to keep our heads down. We’re going to do it again, but with a victory. That is more pleasant.”

Defeat at home has clearly been a wake-up call domestically for PSG. Messi’s late winner against Lille ensured they remained top of Ligue 1, and with Sergio Ramos and Mbappe finally putting together a run of games, the rest of the squad will have to pull their weight, but that won’t be easy at the Allianz Arena. Bayern are notoriously difficult to beat on home soil, and it’s a task that will really define Galtier’s tenure as PSG boss.

Fortunately, if they do progress then Neymar should be available for the quarter-finals, a state of affairs that could inspire the road to Istanbul. There aren’t much harder opponents to draw out of the hat than Bayern Munich over two legs, but with Neymar expected back at the end of March, it could be an exciting business end of the season for PSG. Despite being knocked out of the Coupe de France by Marseille, Lens’ inconsistency means another domestic league title is all but inevitable, but it’s the Champions League that continues to elude them.

Considering the amount of money Neymar has cost, this will be the sixth time he’s missed a Champions League round of 16 tie. The 30-year-old has been unfortunate with injuries but if he is to really cement himself as a true great, he will need to hope his side can get the business done in Bavaria and then finally try and earn PSG that long-awaited European winners medal.