PSG's Leonardo critical of players in Marseille brawl: We lost our minds

By Sports Desk September 13, 2020

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo criticised the club's players for losing their minds following a foul-tempered Le Classique defeat to Marseille.

Neymar was one of five players sent off in a fiery finish at the Parc des Princes, where Ligue 1 champions PSG fell to a 1-0 loss to rivals Marseille on Sunday.

Marseille snapped a 20-match winless streak against PSG, not before host trio Neymar, Leandro Paredes, Layvin Kurzawa, and Jordan Amavi and Dario Benedetto were red-carded in additional time.

Florian Thauvin's 31st-minute volley left PSG winless from their opening two matches of the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season, and without a goal from the club's first two league games for the second time after 1978-79.

Afterwards, Leonardo hit out at the players but the Brazilian was particularly critical of the officiating and scheduling.

"Fourteen yellows and five reds means the game was out of control, I'm not going to defend indefensible behaviour, I don't understand," Leonardo told Telefoot.

"Do a Clasico on the third day ... nobody is 100 per cent in the conditions, I do not understand why you do not have [Clement] Turpin or [Ruddy] Buquet [best French referees], we choose a 34-year-old referee who does not have the experience for a match like this.

"Now is not the time for a Clasico, we had Turpin, we need referees like that for matches of this level. We lost our minds."

On the brawl, Leonardo added: "The TVs have the pictures, it will be judged. There are five reds, which is serious too. You have to know what happened and judge everything. The game was out of control.

"I didn't understand VAR either, I think OM's first goal is offside but not the second. It was a game without control. Turpin or Buquet should have been there. They would have been more prepared. The fight is very serious, we will manage internally, we will talk to our players."

Leonardo was also asked about head coach Thomas Tuchel, with PSG winless from their two Ligue 1 matches to start the season.

Former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri was previously linked with PSG, despite Tuchel leading the French powerhouse to their first Champions League final.

"After a match like that, asking the question is a bit complicated," Leonardo responded when quizzed about Tuchel. "The calendar ... today was the first day of some championships in Europe.

"There are a lot of things: we leave the Champions League and resume immediately, we had the problem of COVID-19. We cannot forget the very complicated context!

"We need consistency to be a little better. This is not to criticise the French championship, but that we are discussing."

Related items

  • Mancini's Italy end four-year absence from FIFA rankings elite Mancini's Italy end four-year absence from FIFA rankings elite

    Roberto Mancini has led resurgent Italy back into the top 10 of the FIFA rankings after a four-year absence.

    The Azzurri are four-time World Cup winners but last featured in the higher echelons in the August 2016 rankings.

    Failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup during Gian Piero Ventura's reign demonstrated their decline, but Mancini, who turned 56 on Friday, has engineered an impressive turnaround in fortunes.

    Italy were 20th on the FIFA list when Mancini took over as head coach in May 2018, but winning all 10 of their Euro 2020 qualifying matches not only re-established them as a major force, it has seen their ranking soar.

    Italy have reached the Nations League finals and are now unbeaten in 22 matches, their best such run since the year they won the World Cup in 2006.

    They enjoyed an 11-game winning streak within the current sequence and will be seeded for the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

    Mancini praised his squad's efforts earlier this month, saying on RAI Sport: "The players have done a great job because it has not always been easy.

    "We have tried to become more offensive with our play. You have to have the right mentality to do so and have a style of play that all the great teams have."

    Italy climbed from 12th to 10th place in the new rankings, while Mexico also jumped two places, rising to ninth.

    For Mexico the wait to rejoin the top 10 had been even longer than it was for Italy - with a nine-year span since they last featured.

    Belgium remain top of the list, ahead of France and Brazil.

     

    FIFA rankings top 10: 1 Belgium, 2 France, 3 Brazil, 4 England, 5 Portugal, 6 Spain, 7 Argentina, 8 Uruguay, 9 Mexico, 10 Italy.

  • Rumour Has It: Juve eye Man Utd's Van de Beek, Liverpool make bid for Ajax star Rumour Has It: Juve eye Man Utd's Van de Beek, Liverpool make bid for Ajax star

    Is Donny van de Beek already heading for an Old Trafford exit?

    Van de Beek made the move from Ajax to Manchester United at the start of the season.

    But he is reportedly wanted by Juventus in Italy.

     

    TOP STORY – VAN DE BEEK WANTED IN TURIN

    Juventus are plotting a move for Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek, according to Calciomercato.

    Van de Beek only swapped Eredivisie powerhouse Ajax for United at the start of the season, but he has struggled to cement a spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's XI.

    Serie A champions are reportedly trying to reunite Van de Beek with former Ajax team-mate Matthijs de Ligt in Turin.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Corriere dello Sport report Liverpool have submitted a bid for Ajax centre-back Perr Schuurs. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are injured at Anfield.

    Chelsea are eyeing a move for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez ahead of a 2021 transfer, says the Here We Go Podcast.

    - TodoFichajes claims Marseille star Florian Thauvin has agreed to join Milan on a free transfer.

    United have joined Premier League champions Liverpool in the race for Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze, according to La Razon. The 21-year-old has also impressed Chelsea.

    - Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu wants to join United, reports Bild journalist Christian Falk. The Turkey international is out of contract at the end of the season. Juve, Atletico and Inter have all been linked.

    - Football Insider says Arsenal are interested in signing Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai on loan in January and loaning him back to the Austrian champions.

  • Tebas: I want Messi in LaLiga like I want Ronaldo, Mourinho, Guardiola and Klopp Tebas: I want Messi in LaLiga like I want Ronaldo, Mourinho, Guardiola and Klopp

    LaLiga president Javier Tebas said he wants Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in Spain, just like he wants Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp in the league.

    Messi's future remains an important topic at embattled LaLiga giants Barca after he handed in a transfer request following a tumultuous 2019-20 season.

    The six-time Ballon d'Or winner was tipped to join Premier League powerhouse Manchester City before opting to remain in Spain, though he has since been linked to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.

    Tebas was asked about Messi's future, and he played down the impact of the Argentina skipper's possible exit.

    "I want Messi in LaLiga, just as I want [Tottenham head coach] Mourinho, [City manager] Guardiola, [Liverpool boss] Klopp, [Juventus superstar] Cristiano…," Tebas said at the World Football Summit. "They all help you grow.

    "It's not essential. They're not as important as people say. Neymar left. It's necessary to have a strategy, a player can help you, but it's not essential.

    "We've got the deals done for the next four seasons in nearly all territories. It can affect sponsorships somewhat, but we've really worked hard on the league's brand and we wouldn't notice it.

    "I hope that Messi, who's the best player ever, finished his career here."

    Messi has spent his entire senior career at Camp Nou, where he emerged from Barca's youth team in 2004.

    Since debuting, Messi has become Barca's all-time leading scorer and won a club-record 34 trophies, including 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions League crowns.

    In 2020-21, Messi has scored three goals in eight LaLiga matches for 13th-placed Barca, who are 12 points adrift of leaders Real Sociedad.

    Messi has six goals across all competitions as Ronald Koeman's Barca struggle this season.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.