Marseille Beat PSG, Neymar And Four Others Sent Off
Neymar was sent off on his return from Covid-19 quarantine after reacting to an alleged racist slur as Marseille snapped their 20-match winless run against Paris Saint-Germain with a 1-0 victory over the reigning Ligue 1 champions on Sunday.
Florian Thauvin's close-range volley on 31 minutes earned Marseille a first victory over their bitter rivals since November 2011 but an ugly scuffle at the end resulted in five red cards at the Parc des Princes.
Neymar, in his first game since testing positive for coronavirus last week, was dismissed in injury time for a slap on Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez.
The Brazilian appeared to accuse his opponent of racism as he followed red-carded teammates Layvin Kurzawa and Leandro Paredes down the tunnel after he was sent off following a VAR review.
"Look at the racism. That's why I hit him," Neymar said as he left the pitch.
"The only regret I have is not hitting this idiot in the face," he tweeted after the match.
Neymar "told me it was a racist insult, but I didn't hear anything on the pitch", PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said.
"There is no place for racism in football but I don't think that was the case," Marseille coach Andre Villas Boas told Telefoot. "We'll have to look at it."
Argentine striker Dario Benedetto and left-back Jordan Amavi were shown red cards for the visitors.
PSG, who lost the Champions League final to Bayern Munich last month, have now lost their opening two games of a season without scoring for the first time since 1978/79 and the task for Tuchel's coronavirus-afflicted side does not get any easier this month.
A frenzied schedule awaits, starting with the visit of Metz in midweek and a trip to Nice next Sunday, and Neymar now faces a suspension.
PSG sporting director Leonardo suggested referee Jerome Brisard lacked the experience to officiate such a highly-charged fixture.
"Fourteen yellow cards and five reds means the match was out of control," said Leonardo. "Not to criticise the referee but perhaps it's not the time to officiate a 'clasico'."
Tuchel tried to downplay the defeat.
"I'm not angry. I think you have to separate the performance and the result. We played a great match, I'm happy with the quality, mentality and the effort," he said.
"I told the players if we continue to play like that we'll win every match. It was a great performance but the result is what it is."(AFP)