A stoppage-time goal from Julian Draxler helped Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) in beating Metz 1-0 and registering their first win of this season’s Ligue 1 after losing the opening two matches.
Despite their first win of the season, the daw was marked by some bad news for PSG as their star forward Neymar and three others have been handed suspension.
The development comes after five PSG players were sent off during their match against Marseille last week. Neymar had accused a Marseille player of hurling racist abuse which led to a heated brawl on the field.
The disciplinary commission of French Professional Football (LFP) on Wednesday announced the Brazilian striker would be banned for two games plus one suspended. Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes received the same punishment while Layvin Kurzawa has to serve a six-match ban for kicking out at Marseille left-back Jordan Amavi. Angel Di Maria may also suffer a similar fate.
Meanwhile, PSG on Wednesday welcomed their goalkeeper Keylor Navas, defender Marquinhos and Mauro Icardi back after they recovered from coronavirus. Kylian Mbappe is yet to join the squad as he is still in quarantine.
The UEFA Champions League finalist last season, PSG, controlled the game from the word go with a lion’s share of ball possession. But genuine goal-scoring chances were not coming in their favour.
On two ocassions when Thomas Tuchel’s men looked to go ahead, they were by Metz goalkeeper Alexandre Oukidjia until Angel Di Maria’s cross in stoppage time forced Oukidja to carry it to Draxler, who nodded it home for the winner.
“We had chances to score in the first half, but we missed all of our good chances,” Tuchel said.
“The situation was complicated so it was important to win tonight. It’s hard, we created some chances, but we’re not 100 per cent,” he added.
Abdou Diallo was sent off after he received two yellow cards, while Juan Bernat limped off the ground in the 85th. PSG’s German manager had already used his three substitutes and, thus, the French champions played with nine men for the last 10 minutes.
“The finish was impressive, playing with nine against 11. We showed an incredible mentality. It was a deserved victory after a crazy match. I am very proud,” the German coach said.
PSG will travel to the southern coastal city of Nice for their next match on Sunday.