A flurry of red cards in the Le Classique ensured Paris Saint-Germain‘s poor start to their Ligue 1 season became worse as they succumbed to a 1-0 home defeat.
Following Thursday’s loss to Lens without seven first-team stars, Thomas Tuchel was able to include four of his first-team back into the fold on Sunday, yet it was Andre Villas-Boas’ side – who lost 4-0 in the corresponding fixture last season – that took all three points at Parc des Princes, in a foul-tempered Le Classique marred by a flurry of red cards with five players including Neymar being sent off late on.
Florian Thauvin’s 31st-minute volley settled match, which ended in a frenzy as referee Jerome Brisard dished out red cards from his pocket like meal tickets following a stoppage-time brawl.
Neymar, who earlier spurned a golden chance, was among them, with the forward sent off for hitting Alvaro, who he apparently accused of racism when talking to the fourth official as he left the field of play.
Leandro Paredes reacted violently to a foul from compatriot Dario Benedetto, with both Argentinians receiving their marching orders along with Layvin Kurzawa and Jordan Amavi for their roles in the ensuing brawl.
Steve Mandanda made a superb save from Marco Verratti early on, and the tone for the match became evident when Neymar and Dimitri Payet – who retweeted a tweet mocking PSG’s defeat at Lens – were shown yellow cards for their involvement in a fracas.
Payet had the final laugh in that duel, though, floating a precise free-kick over the top of PSG’s defence – Thauvin on hand to strike brilliantly on the volley, with the goal confirmed after a VAR check for offside.
Mandanda twice made outstanding stops as PSG piled on the pressure after the break, keeping Pablo Sarabia and Neymar at bay.
PSG thought they had drawn level when Gueye slipped in Angel Di Maria, only for the offside flag to go up to cut short the celebrations.
Benedetto saw a strike ruled out for a tight offside at the other end, but Marseille stood firm to end a poor run against their rivals in the Le Classique – Neymar’s glaring miss from two yards out summing up a frustrating night for the Champions.
Yet there was to be ensuing drama in injury time, as Benedetto provoked Parades, with both players sent off for second bookable offences.
Amavi and Kurzawa also received their matching orders as the teams clashed on the field, with Brisard then having a VAR check and having little choice but to dismiss Neymar for a punch in an ugly end to proceedings.
With this win, Villas-Boas’ side ended a winless run of 20 games against PSG, condemning the champions to a third home loss in 76 Ligue 1 matches.
PSG will aim to get their Ligue 1 campaign back on track as they face Metz on Wednesday – without Neymar of course, while Marseille take on Saint-Etienne on Thursday at home.
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