Paris Saint-Germain win again in Ligue 1, but Cavani limps off just days before Old Trafford trip
An injury to Edinson Cavani gave Paris Saint-Germain fresh concerns on Saturday as the French club’s huge Champions League showdown with Manchester United approaches.
Cavani appeared to hurt his leg while taking the penalty three minutes before half-time that gave PSG a 1-0 win over Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes in Ligue 1.
Television replays showed the Uruguayan grimacing and asking to be substituted. He left the pitch moments later. With the forward replaced by Kylian Mbappe at half-time.
Losing Cavani, who is PSG’s all-time leading scorer and has netted 22 times this season in all competitions, would be another huge blow to the French champions.
“I don’t know if he can play. He came off after taking the shot. It is a muscle problem,” said coach Thomas Tuchel.
“It is Saturday evening now and we play on Tuesday. This is going to be really close. I don’t know if it’s possible,” for him to play the Champions League game, Tuchel added.
“We will have to wait another night and day to have a clearer idea and get more tests done.”
PSG are already missing Neymar for the tie against a resurgent United. With the Brazilian not expected back from a metatarsal injury until early April.
He was in attendance for Saturday’s game, which saw Marco Verratti make his return to action after three weeks out with an ankle injury.
“It is too much. These are quality players for decisive matches. Not everyone can play at that level in the Champions League. We don’t have a second ‘Edi’”, Tuchel earlier told Canal+.
At least the win allowed PSG to get back on track after last week’s 2-1 loss at Lyon. Their first Ligue 1 defeat this season.
The reigning champions are 13 points clear at the top of the league, with a game in hand on second-placed Lille. Who visit bottom side Guingamp on Sunday.
Such is their margin for error domestically that Tuchel could afford to wrap a host of key players in cotton wool with one eye on the Champions League.
As a result, Mbappe started on the bench. While Angel di Maria, Marquinhos, Juan Bernat, Thilo Kehrer, and Julian Draxler — all probable starters in midweek — were left out completely.
Bordeaux had held PSG at home when the teams met in December. But they were undone late in the first half here as Nicolas de Preville fouled Thomas Meunier in the box. Cavani stood up and scored from the penalty spot.
Mid-table Bordeaux slumped to a fourth straight loss in all competitions. Although they nearly equalized on the hour mark when Francois Kamano’s first-time shot from 20 yards was superbly saved by Gianluigi Buffon.
Elsewhere in France, on a weekend when a minute’s applause was held before all games as a tribute to Emiliano Sala, Mario Balotelli and Lucas Ocampos scored to give Marseille a 2-1 win at struggling Dijon on Friday.
Next up for Paris Saint-Germain is their crucial first leg in the Champions League against Manchester United.
The Red Devils warmed up for the European tie with a comfortable 3-0 win away at Fulham. First team regulars Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Victor Lindelof were all rested. But United were on fire thanks to French internationals Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba. Both of whom have flourished since Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has come to the club.