Neymar limps off in tears as PSG beat Strasbourg 2-0
Paris St-Germain forward Neymar was told “don’t go blubbering” after he left the pitch in tears having suffered a fractured metatarsal.
Neymar was fouled three times in a few seconds by Moataz Zemzemi during PSG’s 2-0 Coupe de France win over Strasbourg.
The 26-year-old responded by doing a “rainbow flick” over the head of Zemzemi. But had to come off injured.
“It’s Neymar’s style. But don’t come and complain when you get kicked,” said Strasbourg’s Anthony Goncalves.
“He is a great player. I respect him,” midfielder Goncalves said. “He can enjoy himself. But don’t come blubbering afterwards.”
However, PSG manager Thomas Tuchel was unhappy with the comments by some of the Strasbourg players and coach suggesting Neymar’s behaviour provoked his opponents to cause the injury.
“It was a situation where he was fouled three times. One after the other. The referee didn’t give anything. He twisted his foot,” said Tuchel.
“Ney is worried because it is the same foot. In the same place.”
The former Barcelona forward, who has scored 20 goals in all competitions so far this season for the Ligue 1 leaders, injured the same ankle last February. He then missed the rest of the season, only returning to fitness in time to play for Brazil at the World Cup.
PSG said Neymar had suffered a “reactivation of the lesion of the fifth right metatarsal”. Before adding that treatment would depend on how the injury heals in the next few days.
Goals from Edinson Cavani and Angel di Maria sealed the victory over Strasbourg.
Meanwhile, PSG midfielder Marco Verratti is already doubtful for the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie at Manchester United on 12 February after suffering an ankle injury during the 9-0 win over Guingamp on Saturday.
Neymar, who scored his 19th and 20th goals of the campaign for the defending Ligue 1 champions in their record 9-0 victory over Guingamp, spoke of his huge admiration for coach Tuchel prior to the cup tie. Seemingly suggesting he may stay at the Parc des Princes longer than many may think.
“We have players of great quality. This allows us to aim high,” he is quoted as saying by Canal+.
“It’s a friendship. But, at the same time, a huge mutual respect.
“I respect him as a coach but when we need to talk, we talk. I’ve developed a great affection towards him since the first time we spoke.
“When you have this great affection for your coach, you give your life on the pitch. For him, I will do my best to win.”
It was more bad news for PSG earlier in the day. As Barcelona-bound Frankie de Jong revealed he spoke to Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola before opting for a move to the La Liga champions.
Barca announced the signing of Ajax sensation De Jong for an initial €75million on Wednesday. The Netherlands midfielder is set to join on a five-year deal ahead of the 2019-20 season. The French side had been the favourites to wrap up the deal. But it seems that they dropped the baton and allowed Barca to pounce.
PSG return to Ligue 1 action on the weekend as they take on Rennes on Sunday evening.