An extraordinary end to Le Classique saw five red cards in injury time – three for PSG, two for Marseille – as Paris Saint-Germain slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home.
Leandro Paredes, Layvin Kurzawa (both PSG), Dario Benedetto and Jordan Amavi (both Marseille) all saw red after a heated clash, with Neymar joining them shortly afterwards via a VAR consultation. The Brazilian reported a racist comment to a match official on his way down the tunnel.
Neymar and Dimitri Payet were among five players booked in the first half following a bust-up, but Marseille were ahead at the end of it. Payet’s deep free kick found its way to Florian Thauvin, whose side-footed volley beat Sergio Rico at the near post.
The goal came from Marseille’s first chance of the consequence, although Rico had managed to look vulnerable earlier when twice spilling a routine shot from distance.
The visitors had a penalty shout dismissed on the stroke of the interval, while Alvaro and Di Maria were involved in an angry exchange where it appeared Alvaro was accusing the Argentinian of spitting at him, before both teams had goals ruled out for offside after the break.
Neymar squandered an open goal when, stretching, he could not direct his effort goalwards, and Di Maria was lucky not be sent off for a reckless lunge on Payet as PSG’s frustrations grew, before tempers overflowed shortly before the full-time whistle.
Paredes came flying at Benedetto, who had nudged him over as the pair challenged for a header, while Amavi and Kurzawa both directed kicks at one another in the aftermath. Neymar punched a Marseille player in the head, replays showed, and with the possible exception of Benedetto, who received a second yellow, all had to go.
The Parisians have now lost their opening two Ligue 1 games this season, whereas Marseille have two wins from two.
PSG implode as their horrible start continues. It would be hard to have a start to the season much worse than back-to-back defeats and half of your team contracting a potentially deadly virus, but PSG found a way. Their collective loss of heads at the end was indicative of a club in crisis, and will have an impact far beyond this game.
Paredes looked a red card waiting to happen from the moment he came on and had already committed a rash foul on Payet and been in a running battle with Benedetto, who wound him up masterfully. Neither he, Kurzawa - a noted hot head - or Neymar - who had been having a spat with Alvaro for some time - can have any complaints about their dismissals for violent conduct and are facing lengthy bans which could be extended. In Neymar’s case, the major caveat is that he suggested a racist comment had been made as the left the pitch - something that is unacceptable and would explain why he was so heated.
PSG appear to have left the huge disappointment of losing the Champions League final spill over into the new season, and while its too early to start talking about a title race, they are in serious danger of giving themselves something of a mountain to climb. Ill-disciplined and angry tonight, they let Marseille get under their skin and do not look like happy campers. Bouncing back from such disappointment was never going to be easy, but as things go from bad to worse and players seem more interesting settling personal scores than doing what's best for the team, you have to wonder whether - as bad as things may look - they have not yet hit rock bottom. Thomas Tuchel has a big job on his hands to turn this around.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Florian Thauvin (Marseille). Choosing the scorer is predictable, but his lovely finish was the game’s one moment of real quality and he was also the source of Marseille’s best attacking play, rare though it was. His brilliant start to the season shows how important he is to Marseille's overall ambitions.