PSG secure first win of season; Neymar banned for two games - GulfToday

PSG secure first win of season; Neymar banned for two games


PSG’s Julian Draxler (right) fights for the ball with Metz’s Dylan Bronn during their French League match in Paris on Wednesday. Agence France-Presse

Paris: Julian Draxler scored in added time on Wednesday night to give depleted Paris Saint-Germain their first league win of the season, 1-0 at home against Metz.

PSG, shorn of many stars before kick off, were playing with nine men when Draxler pounced on a rebound to nod home PSG’s first goal of the league season.

“I’m very proud, it’s incredible, honestly. I still have to think about it because I still can’t believe it,” PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said after the game.

PSG, who started the game seriously depleted, were reduced to 10 men after 65 minutes when central defender Abdou Diallou collected a second yellow card and his club’s fourth of the season.

In the dying seconds, defender Juan Bernat, a 63rd minute replacement, limped off with a knee injury, leaving PSG, who had used all their replacements with nine men.

“All the fans can be proud, we still deserved to win, at 9 against 11,” said Tuchel.

While the game was in progress, the French League announced bans of two games for Neymar and Leandro Paredes and six games for Layvin Kurzawa after their red cards during a home loss to Marseille on Sunday that ended in a brawl.

Another star attacker, Kylian Mbappe, remains in coronavirus quarantine while Thilo Kehrer and Marco Verratti are injured.

But striker Mauro Icardi, centreback Marquinhos and goalie Keylor Navas returned after spells in quarantine.

“We made a lot of effort, we had a lot of changes, we used a lot of players who have not trained for a while...with players who haven’t played for a long time,” said Tuchel. “But the effort is still there.”

PSG had opened the season with two defeats for the first time since 1984/85, losing by one goal to Lens and then Marseille.

They again dominated possession on Wednesday but lacked a cutting edge until Draxler pounced in the dying seconds and saved them from starting a season goalless in three goalless for the first time in their 50-year history.

“At 11 we missed all our chances, in the second half we were tired, it wasn’t easy to create chances, at 10 we still had two great chances, we still miss, we don’t score,” said Tuchel. “This team has shown once again that they have an extraordinary spirit.”

Metz coach Vincent Hogon blamed his team.

“We ruined everything. If we lost tonight it’s our fault, because we let in a goal at nine against 11,” he said “No, that’s not allowed.”

Agence France-Presse

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