Soccer

Neymar injury: PSG star carried off pitch after rolling ankle in Ligue 1 loss vs. Lyon

Paris Saint-Germain have been knocked off of top spot in Ligue 1 after a 1-0 loss at home to Olympique Lyonnais on Sunday. Tino Kadewere scored the only goal of the game after 35 minutes when he was teed up by Karl Toko Ekambi at Parc des Princes and PSG could not find a way back into the match. Substitute Kylian Mbappe was thrown on after 65 minutes but that was not enough, and Rudi Garcia’s men saw out the win that brings pressure back on top of Thomas Tuchel after a good recent turnaround in the Champions League.

To make matters worse, Neymar was stretchered off with what looked to be a very serious ankle injury at the death as Thiago Mendes saw red via Video Assisted Refereeing (VAR).

Lille now lead the way in France and Lyon are second with one point more than PSG while Marseille are fourth just one point behind Les Parisiens but with two games in hand.

Here are takeaways from the match.

Neymar carried off

Although the result is of major importance and could have huge ramifications between now and the end of the season, Neymar’s injury has the potential to be just as decisive. He might not have had the desired impact on the pitch on Sunday as Tuchel would have hoped but to lose the Brazil international for any length of time at this fragile moment is a savage blow. Neymar is set to undergo tests on Monday.

The 28-year-old scored a hat-trick in the midweek Champions League thrashing of Istabul Basaksehir after important goals against both RB Leipzig and Manchester United so to lose him ahead of a crucial Ligue 1 matchup against Lille and probably beyond that is a cruel blow.

Unless PSG can find some new source of motivation — possibly the injury itself — they might have just lost their key to getting out of their current predicament.

Lyon look like contenders

With no continental football to distract them this season, Lyon are putting together a strong run of form to emerge as serious title challengers. Marseille, who are also in contention, have also won in Paris while Lille will host PSG before Christmas and have a great chance to strike a potentially killer blow in the title race.

OL are now unbeaten in 11 Ligue 1 matches with five straight wins with winnable games up until the end of the year.

Garcia was not the most popular choice when he replaced Sylvinho at Groupama Stadium, but he is in a great position to make a serious push for the club’s first league title since 2007-08.

Struggles for PSG

Make no mistake, PSG are struggling domestically and are facing a battle to retain their Ligue 1 crown. Lyon inflicted a fourth Championnat defeat of the season on Tuchel’s men, which is the worst record at this point of a campaign under Qatari ownership, and the capital outfit look more vulnerable than ever before.

Players look unmotivated and collective performances are sluggish while opponents like Lyon and Marseille — who also won at Parc des Princes — look sharp and hungry on the domestic front.

A look at Ligue 1 race

For a league that is often criticized for PSG’s steady flow of titles, a potential fight between the capital club, Lille, Lyon, Marseille and possibly even Monaco is a welcome boost.

Considering some of this season’s results, particularly OL, OM and ASM’s wins over PSG, a repeat of Les Monegasques’ 2016-17 success should not be ruled out. With French football’s landscape in the process of changing with the news of the Mediapro collapse, Ligue 1 is showing itself to be more attractive than ever.

Tuchel on borrowed time

Despite an admirable turnaround in Champions League Group H, Tuchel will not be able to survive many more results like this one and a Lille win next weekend could seal his fate.

Had PSG been unable to salvage a place in the European latter stages, the German would arguably already be gone. The French giants expect to win everything domestically and go on deep runs on the continental stage and it is possible that they get none of that if this form continues.



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