Neymar one of five red cards after mass brawl kicks off between PSG and Marseille - in pictures
Brazilian star makes racism claim after bad-tempered clash at Parc des Princes
Neymar was one of five players sent off after a mass stoppage-time brawl during Paris Saint-Germain's 1-0 defeat to Marseille at the Parc des Princes.
Brazilian Neymar, the world's most expensive player, was shown a straight red for his part in an ugly fracas at the end of an ill-tempered game, which was settled by Florian Thauvin's first-half goal.
Neymar's teammates Leandro Paredes and Layvin Kurzawa were also shown red cards by referee Jerome Brisard, as were Marseille pair Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto.
Tempers erupted in time added on after Paredes' shove on Benedetto. Kurzawa raised a boot at an opponent and players from both sides became embroiled in the fracas.
Neymar was the fifth player sent off after Brisard had consulted VAR, with replay footage clearly showing the forward punch Alvaro Gonzalez on the back of the head.
It was later reported that Neymar accused Gonzalez of racism as he walked off the pitch.
“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 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 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 after Sunday's fracas.
“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.
Updated: September 14, 2020 05:38 PM