Soccer-PSG too good for Marseille, Neymar carried off

By Julien Pretot

PARIS, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Paris St Germain continued their stroll towards the French title with a 3-0 home win against bitter rivals Olympique de Marseille on Sunday but forward Neymar left the field on a stretcher late in the game as they extended their Ligue 1 lead to 14 points.

Kylian Mbappe, a Rolando own goal and Edinson Cavani put the capital side on 71 points from 27 games after a clinical performance at the Parc des Princes in an ill-tempered game in which the hosts got six yellow cards and the visitors five.

PSG finished with 10 men after Neymar was carried off with a suspected ankle injury eight minutes from time after coach Unai Emery had already made his three replacements.

“We showed that it’s a very special match for us and we got an excellent result,” Emery said. “The injury to Neymar was the only negative. We hope it’s nothing serious, but we have to wait for further medical exams.”

The coach said initial tests showed it was a twisted ankle but he added further exams on Monday would reveal if there was more serious damage.

The Paris club will now sweat over his availability for the March 6 Champions League game with Real Madrid.

PSG lost the first leg of the last 16 tie 3-1 in Spain on Feb 14 but Emery was optimistic his world-record signing would be fit for the return leg.

“We must be patient but if I had to say something today then I would say yes, he will play.”


Sunday’s result left Marseille in third on 55 points, two behind second-placed Monaco who were held to a 3-3 draw at Toulouse on Saturday.

Olympique Lyonnais were denied their first Ligue 1 win in over a month when St Etienne’s Mathieu Debuchy scored a last-gasp goal to secure a 1-1 away draw in France’s hottest derby.

In Paris, Mbappe scored his first league goal since last month when he dribbled past Rolando and found the back of the net with a low cross-shot in the 10th minute.

Rolando had more trouble in the 28th as he deflected Neymar’s attempt into his own goal.


Marseille failed to threaten and PSG’s Ligue 1 top scorer Cavani added a third for his 24th goal of the season with a shot on the turn from Neymar’s cross 11 minutes into the second half.

It was the 13th time Neymar had set up a goal in Ligue 1 this season, beating his previous best of 12 assists in a league season with Barcelona in 2015-16.

OM have not won in Ligue 1 at the Parc des Princes since Qatar Sports Investments took charge of the Paris club in 2011.

In Lyon, French international Debuchy struck one minute into stoppage time to cancel out Mariano Diaz’s first-half opener.

The win left Lyon, who are now on a five-match winless streak, in fourth place with 50 points with St Etienne 12th on 34 points.

Lyon scored after 20 minutes when Diaz volleyed home from close range but they ran out of steam and St Etienne, without a shot on target in the first half, came back into the game.

Debuchy found the back of the net when he latched onto Remi Cabella’s cross to secure a point for the visitors.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Downie in Sao Paulo; Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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