Manchester United were dealt a major blow to their UEFA Champions League hopes as they fell to an agonising 3-4 defeat against Copenhagen.
Paris Saint-Germain’s preparations for a do-or-die UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid were given a massive jolt as the Ligue 1 giants announced that talisman Neymar has sprained his ankle and cracked his fifth metatarsal, effectively ruling out his participation from next week’s clash at the Parc des Princes.
Tests confirm that @neymarjr sprained his right ankle and cracked his fifth metatarsal during Sunday’s match vs. Marseille. In addition, @marquinhos_m5 suffered a grade 1 quadriceps tear pic.twitter.com/gujXXznliC
— PSG English (@PSG_English) February 27, 2018
PSG had trumped arch-rivals Olympique Marseille 3-0 in a Ligue 1 clash on Sunday, but the victory came at a steep cost as Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, had to be stretchered off towards the end of the second-half.
The 26-year-old, who joined Les Parisiens in a world-record €222 million move from Barcelona in 2017, was on his own when he innocuously rolled his ankle and crumpled to the pitch in a heap, sparking panic in the home crowd.
The visuals of the Brazilian in tears as medics carried him off the pitch suggested the injury was severe, but the club waited for the scan to come out before making an official statement.
While Unai Emery’s big spenders are coasting to the league title, the pressure on them is immense to perform in the big prize—the UEFA Champions League—and without Neymar, their job looks even more improbable.
For despite taking the lead in the first leg via Adrien Rabiot, they could not hold on and conceded three goals to lose the first leg at the Santiago Bernabeu via a 3-1 scoreline.
The fact that they have scored the away goal will give them hope, but Zinedine Zidane’s men have won the continental competition two years on the trot and will look to exert their class in the French capital.
Neymar had a bright outing in the first leg, getting an assist for the opener and constantly caused the Real defence all sorts of problems with his mazy dribbling but many experts felt that more was expected from the South American and now it seems he will be cruelly denied the opportunity to make amends.