PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN’S BOY WONDER Neymar was one of five players sent off after an injury-time brawl as Marseille beat the Ligue 1 champions 1-0 on Sunday.
The Brazil forward claimed to the fourth official that he had heard a racist comment as he received his marching orders in injury time. It was Florian Thauvin’s boot that would condemn the Champions League losing finalist’s to a second consecutive loss in the new Ligue 1 campaign.
Neymar joined teammates Leandro Paredes and Layvin Kurzawa along with Marseille’s Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto, as the fifth recipient of a red card with minutes left on the clock. VAR showed a replay of a punch by the 28-year-old before he was shown a straight red card for the offence.
After the match, Neymar posted on social media to say that his only regret was not hitting Marseille’s Spanish defender Alvaro Gonzalez in the face, having struck him on the back of the head. Gonzalez, in response, denied claims of any wrongdoing. “There is no place for racism,” the Marseille man posted on social media.
The post-match news conference saw Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas echoing his player’s sentiments. He said: “There is no place for racism in football, but I don’t think that was the case. We’ll have to look at it.” There were 17 cards shown, a record for a Ligue 1 game in the 21st Century, watched by a crowd of about 5 000 fans at the Parc des Princes.