Sports

Ligue 1: Marseille end 9-yr winless run against PSG

Ligue 1: Marseille end 9-yr winless run against PSG
Players of Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille fight for the ball during their Ligue 1 match.
Paris, Sep 14 (IANS) | Publish Date: 9/14/2020 1:04:41 PM IST

Marseille clinched their first victory against old rivals Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in nine years as Andre Villas Boas’ side beat PSG 1-0 in a game which will be remembered for aggressive fouls and a late brawl.

Florian Thauvin’s close-range volley set up by Dimitri Payet in the 31st minute punished the defending champions to a two-game losing streak in the opening two weeks of the Ligue 1 campaign, the first time the capital-based club has lost its first two games in a season since 1984-1985.

But the stories of the toe-to-toe clash were far beyond the records. A brawl in stoppage time saw five players sent off, including PSG’s star Neymar. The former Barca striker got a straight red for slapping on the back of Alvaro Gonzalez’s head.

Walking off the pitch, Neymar told officials that he did so because he had been racially abused and the angry Brazilian tweeted after the match that his “only regret” was not hitting Gonzalez in the face.

The anarchy in injury time started with a tussle between Argentine pair Dario Benedetto of Marseille and Leandro Paredes of PSG, as the two players were both shown their second yellow cards and were sent off.

Meanwhile, PSG’s defender Layvin Kurzawa and his Marseille counterpart Jordan Amavi were also booked with direct red cards for a fight with each other in the disorder.

As a result, the game ended with eight men from PSG on the field, while Marseille had nine.

The rivalry between the two clubs is one of the biggest in Ligue 1, which is also related to the competition of the two cities, the biggest and second-biggest in the country.

The bad relationship got worse last month as PSG went all the way into the Champions League final, which previously was an honour exclusively belonging to Marseille.

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