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Neymar sees red as PSG draw 2-2 with Marseille

© Boris Horvat / AFP | PSG's EDison Cavani celebrates scoring against Marseille on Sunday October 22, 2017.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-10-23

Neymar was both hero and villain as the Brazil superstar scored and was then sent off as Paris Saint Germain snatched a last-gasp 2-2 draw in a fiery clash with bitter rivals Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

Marseille opened the scoring with a Luiz Gustavo long range shot on 16 minutes before Neymar levelled with a fine threaded shot on 33 minutes.

After Florian Thauvin fired Marseille ahead late on, Neymar was booked and then red-carded in the space of two minutes when appearing to headbutt Marseille's Argentine striker Lucas Ocampos.

In another dramatic twist, a bullet-like free-kick from Edinson Cavani made it 2-2 in time added on to salvage a point for PSG as Marseille players slumped to the Stade Velodrome pitch in disgust and frustration.

The result means PSG keep their unbeaten record atop Ligue 1 with 26 points, four ahead of Monaco on 22. Marseille are fifth on 18.

"It was an important goal given how this match went," said the Uruguayan striker Cavani.

"It was very difficult for us to play in this atmosphere and it's an important point. That's football -- there are matches where you have to give everything."

Ambitious Marseille, bought last year by American businesman Frank McCourt, are targetting a return to the Champions League and would likely have settled for a point ahead of the kick-off against a side unbeaten in Ligue 1 since April.

The atmosphere was red hot with supporters fighting running battles with police outside the ground with even cars bearing Paris number plates being attacked.

There were 13 arrests at a game from which PSG fans were banned over security fears.

Inside, Neymar was constantly pelted with coins and lighters when he took corners and needed police protection with raised shields when he went close to the sidelines.

After a series of heavy tackles the Brazilian, the world's most expensive footballer, picked up his first yellow for standing on the hand of Morgan Sanson, who had just fouled him.

Two minutes later Neymer suffered a further series of challenges and eventually lost his cool by appearing to aim a headbutt at Ocampos.

The Argentine fell to the floor and remained there before Neymar smiled broadly and turned away without protest as the referee waved his red card.

Lyon climbed to fourth earlier on Sunday with a 5-0 away win at promoted Troyes as Dutch striker Memphis Depay scored a second-half hat-trick.

The 23-year-old Depay joined Lyon in January 2017 from Manchester United and is finding his feet in France now that Lyon have sold Alexandre Lacazette to Arsenal.

The injured Mario Balotelli watched from the stands as Nice slumped to another defeat, going down 2-1 at home to Strasbourg.

The side who finished third last season are currently 14th and go to Paris Saint-Germain next Friday.

Monaco beat Caen 2-0 on Saturday with Ligue 1's leading scorer Radamel Falcao netting a penalty for his 13th goal of the campaign to keep the pressure on the leaders.

(AFP)

Date created : 2017-10-23

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