AP Photo/Michel Euler
Neymar was among five players sent off in stoppage time Sunday as Olympique de Marseille beat bitter rival Paris Saint-Germain for the first time in nine years.
PSG star Neymar got a straight red in OM’s 1-0 win following an altercation with centre-half Alvaro Gonzalez at the Parc des Princes in Paris. 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 tweeted afterwards: “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.”
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 has now lost three straight games 1-0, including the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on Aug. 23 and away to promoted Lens last Thursday. PSG lost its 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.
PSG: ‘The situation is serious’
“The fight is something very serious. We will deal with that internally with our players,” PSG sporting director Leonardo said. “We will have to look at everything to take a coherent stance but the situation is serious.”
Neymar had returned to the side along with winger Di Maria after both were among a total of seven PSG players who had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Right back Alessandro Florenzi made his PSG debut after signing on a season’s loan from Roma this week and almost set up a goal after two minutes, only for goalkeeper Steve Mandanda to palm away midfielder Marco Verratti’s shot.
Thauvin spent most of last season sidelined with a problematic ankle injury, but made it two goals in two games this campaign following a smart run to the back post to turn in playmaker Dimitri Payet’s free kick.
Mandanda denied Neymar on the hour mark and two minutes later Di Maria had a goal ruled out for offside.
Benedetto’s effort was also ruled offside one minute later, with Thauvin this time ruled offside in the buildup following a video replay even though he appeared to be level with a defender. Neymar then went close again moments after.
Neymar and Di Maria were among six players who tested positive for COVID-19 following a club-approved trip to Ibiza soon after losing the Champions League final.
Captain Marquinhos and striker Mauro Icardi also tested positive following that trip to Spain and were not in the squad. Neither was star striker Kylian Mbappé, whose positive virus test happened on international duty with France last week.
PSG was missing all seven for the Lens defeat.