Paris Saint-Germain vs Marseille descended into farce on Sunday night.
Le Classique has long been regarded as one of Europe’s most fiery fixtures, but the clubs’ latest clash became overshadowed by a flurry of red cards and allegations of racism.
Shockingly, the game finished with eight players against nine as Layvin Kurzawa, Leandro Paredes, Neymar, Jordan Amavi and Darío Benedetto were all sent packing in stoppage time.
Drama in Paris
The avalanche of red cards commenced after 90 minutes of bad blood where dirty tackles rained in to the extent that 14 yellow cards were dished out.
In terms of the match itself, Marseille emerged victors with a 1-0 upset and they have made no secret of their happiness with Florian Thauvin having scored a first-half winner.
And it was after that opening strike that tensions first began to rise with Angel Di Maria, who has recently recovered from COVID-19, appearing to be accused of spitting at Álvaro González.
Neymar amongst five sent off
This swiftly caused a pause in play and although VAR judged Di Maria to be innocent, footage later emerged that seemed to show Neymar accusing Marseille’s González of being racist.
And it was this incident that reared its head once again when Neymar was shown a red card during the stoppage time fracas.
In fact, it was a rabbit punch on González that earned him the dismissal with slow-motion clips showing the Brazilian superstar planting his left fist into the back of his opponent’s head.
Neymar mentions racist incident
The punch took place within a larger fracas that ultimately led to Neymar walking down the tunnel with two of his PSG teammates and a duo of Marseille players with whom they had scrapped.
And according to broadcasters BT Sport, Neymar was recorded saying to both the fourth official and the camera itself that there was a racist incident upon exiting the pitch.
You can check out the footage of this down below:
According to Jonas Giæver, Spanish television clocked Neymar as having said: “Because he was being a racist. That’s why I hit him”.
For the time being, authorities will likely investigate all the relevant claims surrounding PSG’s defeat to Marseille from the alleged spitting, racism and unsavoury scenes late in the game.
What we do know for certain is that the defeat in Paris marks a nightmarish start to the season for Neymar and co, completing the second game-week without a point or goal to their name.
That being said, if racist language was indeed used during the game, then sport and Ligue 1 points must take a back seat and fade into comparative irrelevancy.
For as long as the short-mindedness of racism, prejudice and bigotry continues to percolate into sport and society as a whole, it must be combatted with the upmost resistance and retaliation.
- Match report: PSG 0-1 Marseille
- Irvin Cardona scores Puskas Award contender
- James Rodriguez’s superb highlights vs Spurs