Marseille were denied a first win against Paris St Germain since 2011 by Edinson Cavani’s stoppage-time free-kick as Le Classique at the Stade Velodrome ended in a 2-2 draw.
Neymar cancelled out Luiz Gustavo’s brilliant first-half opener for Marseille and was controversially sent off in the second period after the home side had regained the lead through Florian Thauvin.
Here, we look at the contribution of PSG playmaker Neymar.
Neymar was behind most of PSG’s attacking threat and was hugely influential. He set up Layvin Kurzawa in the early stages, showed brilliant footwork in one storming run from midfield and started off the move which led to his first-half equaliser after linking decisively with Cavani. The Brazilian was given a rough ride and required treatment on his lower back before the break, but never shirked from his responsibility. His second yellow card following an altercation with the play-acting Lucas Ocampos in the 87th minute was harsh.
Neymar was a threat every time he was on the ball. Showing a tendency to turn up on the left hand side of midfield, his markers were always kept guessing. Marseille defender Hiroki Sakai was booked for his crude second-half challenge on the attacking midfielder, who always demanded the ball. But one decent chance went begging after the interval as he ballooned his cross out of play when a simple cut-back was the better option.
Neymar had been booked for comments made to referee Ruddy Buquet two minutes before he was felled by Ocampos. The Brazilian reacted by pushing his head towards the Marseille defender, who fell dramatically to the floor. Replays showed there was little, if any, contact but Buquet flashed a second yellow card to signal an early exit for PSG’s number 10.
Neymar proved the difference for PSG after they had fallen behind to Gustavo’s spectacular opening goal. The Brazilian had already laid one early chance on a plate for Kurzawa when he started and finished the move for his equaliser. He was clearly the biggest threat in the eyes of some of Marseille’s more passionate supporters and had to be shielded by stewards when he went to take corners as they pelted him with various objects.
Source: By PA Sport Staff