Neymar faces 7-match ban for red card

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar faces a suspension of up to seven games following his dismissal during Sunday’s defeat to Olympique Marseille in Le Classique.

The 28-year-old was one of five players sent off in stoppage time as a scuffle broke out between the two rivals.

Dario Benedetto shoved Leandro Paredes to the ground in stoppage time to start the brawl. The game had been boiling over for several minutes prior.

Both Benedetto and Parades were shown their marching orders, as were full-backs Layvin Kurzawa and Jordan Amavi for exchanging kicks.

Referee Jerome Brisard then consulted the VAR to be shown replays of Neymar slapping Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez in the back of his head. The Brazilian superstar was subsequently shown a red card.

The LFP Disciplinary Committee rules, an act of aggression off-the-ball could warrant a suspension of up to seven games. Should the red card is deemed an attempted assault, Neymar can be suspended for up to six games.

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Neymar cites racism for red card in defeat

Paris Saint-Germain were handed their second defeat to start the 2020-21 French Ligue 1 season as they went down 0-1 against rivals Olympique Marseille in La Classique at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night.

Florian Thauvin scored the game’s only goal on half hour by volleying Dimitri Payet’s delivery from a free kick, but all the talking points came deep in stoppage time as five players were shown their marching orders.

The match had been at boiling point before Marseille’s Dario Benedetto shoved Leandro Paredes off the ball. The Argentinian retaliated and a brawl ensued.

Layvin Kurzawa and Jordan Amavi exchanged kicks and both were shown red cards. Benedetto and Paredes were next to be dismissed for their involvement before referee Jerome Brisard consulted the VAR screen.

Replays showed Neymar slapping the back of the head of Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez and was duly asked to leave the field of play in the ninth minute of stoppage time.

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2 defenders who could join PSG this summer

Paris Saint-Germain allowed four first team players to leave on free transfers at the end of the 2019-20 campaign as they look to rebuild in their bid for European success.

The French Ligue 1 champions reached the Champions League final for the first time in their history last month only to be beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich.

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar disappointed in the final third, whilst Thilo Kehrer was exposed at right-back, which saw Kingsley Coman getting the better of the right-back to score the game’s only goal.

Kehrer himself may not have started the final but for Thomas Meunier’s departure to Borussia Dortmund at the end of his contract on 1 July 2020. Edinson Cavani also missed the final after his contract expired at the same time.

However, club captain Thiago Silva remained with the French champions until after the final before joining English Premier League giants Chelsea on a free transfer.

PSG’s only signing so far this summer has been Mauro Icardi from Internazionale, with the Argentine having already spent last season on loan from the Serie A side. Icardi will be the long-term replacement for Cavani after the Uruguayan’s seven seasons at the Parc des Princes.

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PSG considered Messi move

Paris Saint-Germain considered making a move for Lionel Messi, admitted sporting director Leonardo.

The Argentine star sent a fax to Barcelona last Tuesday stating that he wanted to exercise a clause in his contract that would have allowed him to leave on a free transfer this summer.

Speaking to French outlet Telefoot, Leonardo admitted that the 2019-20 Champions League finalists explored the opportunity to signing the six-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner.

The former Brazilian international compared it to the capture of David Beckham in 2013, saying:

“When we are told Messi wants to leave, we are tempted. You say to yourself, will it be f***ing possible? They are players completely out of any discussion.

“I don’t know, David Beckham ended up at Paris Saint-Germain, Messi ending up in Paris? I don’t know.

“It’s football, in the end, everyone’s sitting at the table, everyone knows everything, and it’s moving forward.”

However, Barcelona insisted that Lionel Messi’s €700 million (£630m) release clause would have to be met by any potential suitor and the player swiftly made a u-turn on his decision to stay with the Spanish giants for at least another season.

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Coman rules out PSG return whilst one player is there

Kingsley Coman has ruled out a return to Paris Saint-Germain for the time being.

The 24-year-old has just completed his fifth season with Bayern Munich, culminating with the winger scoring the only goal in the Champions League final… versus PSG.

Coman came through the youth ranks at the French Ligue 1 champions, making just three league appearances before he left on a free transfer to join Juventus at the start of the 2014-15 campaign.

The 22-time French international stayed for just one season in Turn before spending two on loan at the Bavarians where he joined on a permanent basis in 2017.

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PSG Ligue 1 opener postponed

Paris Saint-Germain’s 2020-21 Ligue 1 opener versus RC Lens has been postponed for a second time.

The game was scheduled to take place at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis this weekend, but has now been rescheduled for 10 September at the request of the defending champions.

As a result, PSG will be two games behind the rest of the division when they start their new season on Sunday 13 September with Le Classique against rivals Marseille.

PSG were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 Champions League final on Sunday whilst the rest of Ligue 1 started their new campaign. They asked to delay their season opener to give them more preparation time having competed in the Champions League over in Portugal in August.

This will give Thomas Tuchel’s side an additional week to prepare for the new campaign. Most pundits and fans consider them certainties to win the Ligue 1 for the ninth time in 10 seasons as a result of the big money signings they have been able to make over the years.

The Parisians have played just five games since March – the French Cup final, French League Cup final and three matches in the Champions League. Fatigue is certainly no problem for the defending French Ligue 1 champions.

However, they have seen Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva and Thomas Meunier all depart, whilst no additions have been made. Mauro Icadi has been signed on a permanent basis, having spent last season on loan from Internazionale.

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PSG’s front three fail to influence final

Kingsley Coman haunted his former side as the Bayern Munich forward scored the only goal of the game to beat Paris Saint-Germain in the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League final on Sunday.

The 24-year-old was a product of the Parisians’ youth system, making three league appearances before joining Juventus on a free transfer in 2014.

Coman headed home Joshua Kimmich’s cross from close range on the hour following a nice move by the German champions. The French international had terrorised Thilo Kehrer all evening. The German right-back was arguably started because of the disruption, allowing Thomas Meunier to leave to Borussia Dortmund on 1 July.

There wasn’t much between the two teams at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon and but for Manuel Neuer putting in another superb performance between the posts, on another day, PSG may have lifted the trophy.

However, Thomas Tuchel’s side came up short. Particularly the front three. Kylian Mbappe had a couple of shots blocked and Neymar had a good effort well saved by the German number one in the first half.

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3 players who could join PSG this summer

Paris Saint-Germain are two matches away from winning the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.

The French Ligue 1 champions will face RB Leipzig in a single-legged semi-final tonight with the winner set to face either Bayern Munich or Lyon in the final at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz on Sunday.

This is only the second time the club have ever reached the final four, since their run in the 1994-95 campaign, which ended in a 3-0 aggregate defeat to eventual winners AC Milan.

With transfer spend in excess of €1 billion over the past nine years, the Champions League trophy has been the one they’ve always let slip away.

Should Thomas Tuchel’s side not win the prized trophy this season, then a few new players may join the ranks at the Parc des Princes in order to strengthen the squad for next season.

PSG have already seen Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier leave on a free transfer this summer, whilst Thiago Silva and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting will depart after the Champions League campaign is over.

The only signing the French giants have made so far this summer has been making the deal for Mauro Icardi permanent having spent this season on loan from Internazionale. But don’t be surprised if they dip into the transfer kitty a few more times before the window closes in October.

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Could a French team win the Champions League?

Marseille’s tainted Champions League win of 1992-93 is the only time in the competition’s history that a French team has got its hands on the trophy.

The following season AS Monaco reached the semi-finals, losing to eventual winners AC Milan, and the following season Paris Saint-Germain followed the same fate to the Italian giants at the same stage.

That was PSG’s one and only Champions League final four appearance prior to Wednesday’s dramatic 2-1 victory against Atalanta.

In 1995-96 won the now defunct UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup; the only European title in their trophy cabinet. That same season, Nantes also reached the final four of the Champions League, losing 4-3 on aggregate to Juventus, who beat Ajax on penalties in the final.

In fact, since Marseille’s victory in 1993, the only Ligue 1 side to have even appeared in the final since was Monaco – that’s when they were hammered 3-0 by Jose Mourinho’s FC Porto in 2004.

France have produced six finalists in all – including the runners-up of the inaugural tournament in 1955-56: Stade de Reims. The same team appeared in the final three years later, with the same result: losing to Real Madrid.

Saint-Etienne were beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich in 1976 and Marseille themselves lost on penalties to Red Star Belgrade two years before they got their hands on the trophy.

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Atalanta’s future is bright, despite PSG defeat

Three minutes. That’s all it took for Atalanta’s Champions League dream to unravel against Paris Saint-Germain. Heartbreakingly for the Italian side, those 180 seconds arrived at the end of a pulsating encounter against their profoundly more wealthy opponents.

This was never more evident than in the 60th minute, when the French side called upon the services of superstar Kylian Mbappe – their €180m signing – from the bench to rescue the game for the Parisians. Such is the disparity in wealth between the two sides that Mbappe’s transfer from Monaco three years ago is just a fraction under the entirety of Atalanta’s €188m club revenue. Continue reading