Ligue 1: Neymar among five sent off in stoppage time
Neymar was among five players sent off in stoppage time as Marseille beat bitter rivals and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain for the first time in nine years.
PSG star Neymar got a straight red in Marseille’s 1-0 win following an altercation with centre half Alvaro Gonzalez on Sunday.
Neymar was sent off following a video replay showing he aimed a jab to the back of Gonzalez’s head. As he went off, Neymar told officials that he had been racially abused.
“It’s a serious wrongdoing if that’s the case but I don’t think so,” Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas said. “What we saw, what was visible, is that (Angel) Di Maria spat (on Gonzalez).”
With apparent reference to Gonzalez, Neymar later tweeted: “The only regret I have is not hitting the face of this idiot.” .
In a later tweet, Neymar said: “It is easy for the VAR (video review) to see my ‘aggression’” and added he was subjected to offensive insults of a racist nature.
“Neymar told me that it was a racist insult. I didn’t hear anything on the field,” PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said. “Racism in life, in all domains, in sport, should not exist.”
Alvaro denied the allegation in a post of his own on Twitter. “There is no place for racism,” he wrote. “Clean race and with many colleagues and friends on a daily basis. Sometimes you have to learn to lose and take it on the field.”
In a statement on Monday, PSG urged the French league’s governing body (LFP) to investigate the matter.
“Paris St Germain strongly supports Neymar Jr who reported being subjected to racist abuse by an opposing player,” the club said.
Winger Florian Thauvin scored in the 31st minute of a tense game featuring more than a dozen yellow cards and which descended into chaos deep into stoppage time as punches and kicks were exchanged.
It was Marseille’s first victory over PSG since a 3-0 home win in November 2011.
PSG have now lost three straight games 1-0, including the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on August 23 and away to promoted Lens last Thursday.
PSG lost their opening two league games for the first time since the 1984-85 season and Tuchel may find himself under early pressure.
The game ended with PSG defender Layvin Kurzawa and Marseille counterpart Jordan Amavi sent off for fighting in the seventh minute of injury time at Parc des Princes.
PSG’s Leandro Paredes and Marseille’s Dario Benedetto soon followed before Neymar’s expulsion.
“The fight is something very serious. We will deal with that internally with our players,” PSG sporting director Leonardo said.