Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar was exempt from blame for his sending off in a 4-3 win over Bordeaux on Sunday after head coach Thomas Tuchel refused to criticise a reckless tackle.

Brazil international Neymar was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Bordeaux's Yacine Adli in added time of the Ligue 1 clash at the Parc des Princes.

The 28-year-old had an angry exchange with referee Willy Delajod and then appeared to sarcastically applaud the officials as he left the pitch.

However, Tuchel believed Neymar's reaction was a natural one given he felt the PSG player had been fouled beforehand by Bordeaux's Youssouf Sabaly.

Neymar is now set to miss PSG's next Ligue 1 fixture at home to Dijon on Saturday.

"We have to talk about the whole situation," Tuchel said of Neymar's challenge in his post-match media conference.

"He is nervous and he reacts. It is human. He must not, but it is human. And the Bordeaux player does not even get a yellow card."

PSG secured the points after a chaotic win thanks to two goals from Marquinhos and one apiece for Edinson Cavani – his 200th in all competitions for the club – and Kylian Mbappe.

It helped PSG increase their lead to 13 points over second-placed Marseille at the top of Ligue 1.

And Tuchel acknowledged the win helped boost morale as they produced a positive reaction to a 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie.

"The victory is the most important thing now because there are things to improve, it is clear," added the German coach.

"The players lack a little confidence after a defeat. It's like that. We can see that a lot of teams in Europe after a defeat it's always a little difficult to regain spirit and confidence."

Brazilian defender Marquinhos feels PSG must work hard to improve their defensive performances after leaking seven goals in their past two Ligue 1 games.

"On the one hand we are really very strong offensively, but on the other we concede a lot of goals," he told Canal+.

"As defenders we really have to think about what we can do best. In this match it was mainly on set-pieces. We really have to work better collectively."

Neymar saw red as Paris Saint-Germain moved 13 points clear at top of Ligue 1 after Edinson Cavani's 200th goal for the club helped them to a 4-3 win over Bordeaux on Sunday.

Hwang Ui-jo gave Bordeaux a surprise lead before Cavani equalised for PSG with his landmark strike at the Parc des Princes.

The hosts went ahead when Marquinhos chested the ball home but Bordeaux levelled through Pablo following a mistake by PSG goalkeeper Sergio Rico.

Marquinhos and Kylian Mbappe both finished clinically to put Thomas Tuchel's side in command, although Ruben Pardo reduced the deficit to set up a tense finish and Neymar was dismissed for a second booking late on.

 

After dominating European football for over a decade, could Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shelve their rivalry and come together as team-mates?

David Beckham might be the man to make it happen.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder appears to have ambitious plans for his new MLS franchise.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI, RONALDO WANTED AT INTER MIAMI

Barcelona captain Messi, 32, and Juventus talisman Ronaldo, 35, will end their careers on the same side if Inter Miami co-owner Beckham gets his wish, according to the Mirror.

The newspaper claims the new MLS outfit are "already thinking big" and could look to lure football's two biggest superstars to the United States.

LA Galaxy have also been linked with a move for Messi but Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath believes Beckham's pulling power has the potential to create a dream attacking duo.

“For Ronaldo and Messi, the two obvious destinations if they came to the MLS would be Los Angeles and Miami," Heath told the Mirror.

"And, with his links to both players and the plan Beckham and his backers have in place, I can really only see them going to Miami."

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United are set to launch a £50million bid for Wolves forward Diogo Jota, scorer of a Europa League hat-trick on Thursday, reports the Express.

- United have also been linked with Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham but the Red Devils are set to face competition from Liverpool, according to the Daily Star.

- Serie A leaders Juventus are at the front of the queue for Paul Pogba but Paris Saint-Germain also hope to land the French star, reports Le10 Sport.

- PSG, meanwhile, are planning for life after Thomas Tuchel, who is said to be in talks with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. L'Equipe claims the Ligue 1 champions could look to replace him with either Massimiliano Allegri or Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi.

- Premier League clubs Sheffield United, Wolves and Burnley are showing interest in Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, suggests the Sun.

Thomas Tuchel admitted he was "very surprised" by leaked footage that showed Paris Saint-Germain's players partying into the early hours of the morning this week.

A number of PSG's first-team stars attended a lavish joint-birthday party for Edinson Cavani, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria in Paris on Thursday.

The extravagant bash was held two days after the French champions' 2-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.

Footage on social media showed some players, including forward Neymar, topless and bouncing around the room.

And with a Ligue 1 clash against Bordeaux to come on Sunday, Tuchel has questioned the actions of his players.

"I was really surprised yesterday afternoon when watching the video," he said at Saturday's pre-match news conference. 

"You can be sure that we talked internally. I don't want to talk about it now, but we talked about it within the club and it has to stay that way."

He added: "You can be sure that we are not happy with this image. We talked together as a team and it is now an internal matter.

"I am here to improve my group. I cannot give advice to the club, that is not my role."

Marquinhos was in attendance at the exclusive Pavillon Dauphine and defended the decision to throw the triple birthday party.

"The leaked footage was a mistake," he told reporters. "However, it had been planned for a long time. We needed to get together. 

"We must be careful, though, as there are people who travel miles to follow us.

"There has been frustration at the result and poor performance [against Dortmund]. We know our strengths, especially at home.We must work hard and with a good mentality."

Neymar suggested after the loss to Dortmund that he has been unhappy with PSG's management of his rib injury, insisting he was ready to return to action earlier.

However, Tuchel has reiterated that he cannot risk the Brazil international's fitness at a key point in the season.

"As I said before, it was a discussion between the club, medical staff and myself. With each injury we have to make many decisions, that's the way it is," he said.

"Imagine if we let him play, the injury got worse and he was out for three months. You would have asked the same questions, whether it was a mistake to play him.

"We have to think about why we are making these decisions and you have to trust me. We have talked a lot and it is the same with every player.

"Obviously I want him to play every game and we have to make decisions together. This is the decision we made between us. Now he needs to regain his rhythm."

Tuchel also confirmed Thomas Meunier and Colin Dagba are out of Sunday's clash with Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes, where he is hoping for a quick response from his side.

"It is never easy to start again after a defeat, but that is the challenge," he said. "I have the impression that all the players want to prove themselves.

"Sometimes the players are more competitive when things aren't comfortable. That is exactly the mindset we are looking for."

Thomas Tuchel felt Neymar's lack of competitive matches showed and he backed Kylian Mbappe after Paris Saint-Germain's loss to Borussia Dortmund.

Erling Haaland's brace inspired Dortmund to a 2-1 home victory in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

Neymar was on the scoresheet on his return from a rib injury, while Mbappe also missed PSG's draw with Amiens on Saturday.

Tuchel felt PSG's busy schedule and injuries to their stars had played a part at Signal Iduna Park.

"We have made twice as many matches as Dortmund in recent weeks. We have had injury concerns with key players, they lack the rhythm, the hardness of the competition, as we saw with Neymar," he said, via L'Equipe.

"Our possession of the ball was not stable enough for this not to be a physical match. There was this physical side to this match, in addition, we made too many mistakes in unnecessary positions.

"We were lacking in timing. We lost a little confidence, and form. I thought it would be a more open game."

Neymar said post-match he had been unhappy with PSG's management of his injury, insisting he was ready to return earlier.

Tuchel, who felt his side played with fear, also backed Mbappe to learn from a difficult outing.

"I knew it would be a tough game for him. He had to be very, very patient," he said.

"We know that the technical relationship between him and Ney is good. Ney lacked rhythm, competition.

"Kylian made an assist. It's a tough game for him, a game to grow. I trust him. We're going to have a good game at the Parc [des Princes]."

PSG host the second leg on March 11.

Presnel Kimpembe accepted the Paris Saint-Germain players had to take the blame for their 2-1 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund as Thomas Tuchel's tactics were not at fault.

Tuchel switched to a three-man defence, with Marquinhos lining up alongside Kimpembe and captain Thiago Silva at the back to grant Thomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa greater license to attack.

The move did not appear to pay off as PSG were outplayed by Dortmund and suffered a last-16 first-leg defeat following Erling Haaland's brace, although Neymar netted a potentially precious away goal.

Kimpembe was not looking to place the blame at the door of the head coach, however.

He told RMC Sport: "It has nothing to do with the tactics, we're the ones playing. The same players were on the field.

"It's up to us to show our will and do what it takes to get the victory. Here we are and we lost, but we still have a return match at home."

Meunier, who will miss the return leg through suspension along with Marco Verratti, suggested fatigue was a factor.

PSG were playing for the 14th time since the mid-season break ended at the start of January, although Tuchel made seven changes from the team that drew 4-4 with Amiens on Saturday.

"We thought [Dortmund] had defensive problems, but the problem is we didn't create many chances," Meunier told BT Sport. "That's our fault.

"We weren't really sharp in the last 20 metres. I think you could see a little bit of fatigue. We played almost 15 games since the beginning of January and you saw it."

Yet Meunier still claimed PSG deserved a draw, adding: "It was really difficult, really intense. The first half physically was really demanding.

"Maybe we deserved a draw, but Dortmund were really, really good. They played like the home team, like they are used to doing.

"Since the beginning of the season, they haven't lost one game here at home. We saw today that it was difficult."

Neymar returned to Paris Saint-Germain's starting XI for Tuesday's Champions League last-16 meeting with Borussia Dortmund.

Brazil forward Neymar had been out of action since he sustained a rib injury on February 1, meaning he has missed PSG's past four matches.

However, having included the former Barcelona star in his travelling party, coach Thomas Tuchel – who was going up against his old club at Signal Iduna Park – confirmed in his pre-match news conference that Neymar was fit to feature in some capacity.

The 28-year-old was named in the starting line-up alongside Kylian Mbappe, who was rested during the 4-4 draw with Amiens on Saturday.

Tuchel appeared set to switch his system, with Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe forming a three-man defence alongside Thiago Silva, while Marco Verratti returned in midfield to partner Idrissa Gueye.

Layvin Kurzawa was handed a spot on the left and Thomas Meunier was on the opposite flank, while Angel Di Maria completed the visitors' front three.

Lucien Favre's team was unchanged from the side that dismantled Eintracht Frankfurt in their last Bundesliga outing, meaning Erling Haaland makes first Champions League appearance as a Dortmund player.

The 19-year-old, who has netted nine times in six games for his new club, scored eight goals in six outings in the group stage for Salzburg.

Neymar will play in Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League last-16 first leg against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, Thomas Tuchel has confirmed.

The Brazil international has been out of action since suffering a rib injury on February 1, missing four matches since then in domestic competitions.

He was confirmed in PSG's squad earlier on Monday, as the Ligue 1 champions prepare to go up against Tuchel's former club for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Kylian Mbappe is also back in the squad after being rested for Saturday's thrilling 4-4 draw with Amiens, but the focus has been on Neymar's potential involvement.

Tuchel says he will play, barring any last-minute issues in training.

"Neymar is here, he is feeling well," the German coach told reporters. "He trained today [Monday] and will be playing tomorrow if nothing happens during training.

"Obviously, it changes everything if he plays and I hope it will be a positive thing.

"If we have Ney on the field, he has the ability to do decisive things. That changes everything: for his team-mates, for Kylian…

"It gives me confidence, but also the team. That seems obvious to me."

Neymar has been in phenomenal form this season, scoring 13 times and setting up another six goals in his 14 Ligue 1 matches.

The most expensive player of all time has only played twice in the Champions League this term, however, scoring once.

Neymar is back in the Paris Saint-Germain squad for the first leg of their crunch Champions League last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund.

PSG have also included Kylian Mbappe in their 21-man group for Tuesday's match in Germany.

Neymar has missed PSG's past four matches, including Saturday's thrilling 4-4 draw away to Amiens in Ligue 1, having suffered a rib injury against Montpellier on February 1.

But after head coach Thomas Tuchel said a decision would be made after training on Sunday, the Brazil star was included in the PSG squad.

Neymar's likely involvement in the match will come as a huge boost to the French champions after the forward missed crucial knockout games against Real Madrid and Manchester United in the last two Champions League seasons.

Mbappe and Pablo Sarabia did not play against Amiens either, but both are also back for the Dortmund game, as is defender Marquinhos, who came off the bench in that game for his first appearance in more than three weeks.

Paris Saint-Germain are determined to stop Erling Haaland continuing his scoring streak when they come up against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, according to Thiago Silva.

Haaland has made an outstanding start to his Dortmund career, managing nine goals in six games across all competitions since joining from Salzburg in January.

The teenage sensation is likely to face off against Ligue 1 champions PSG in the first leg of a blockbuster last-16 tie at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday.

PSG centre-back Silva acknowledged the quality possessed by Haaland and is relishing the chance to test himself against one of European football's brightest prospects.

"He scores a lot of goals," Silva told RMC Sport after PSG's enthralling 4-4 draw with Amiens on Saturday. "Nine goals in six games, it's incredible, it's huge.

"I hope that we will be able to be cautious and that he will not score against us, but rather after in the league.

"But for us it's wonderful to play against a player like that, especially since he's just started his career. He is very motivated, but so are PSG."

On the tie itself, the Brazilian added: "Are we afraid? We have no fear, but we have a lot of respect. I saw the match [against Eintracht Frankfurt], they have a lot of quality in front, they scored four goals, with incredible technique, movements that are difficult to fight."

PSG boast devastating attacking talent of their own and could be boosted by the return of Neymar, who has not featured since February 1 due to a rib injury.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel said he would take a decision on Neymar's involvement on Sunday and Silva expects his compatriot to be involved in the first leg.

"It is good, it is good. He had a good week of preparation," he said. "The coach and the medical staff could see his form. Tuesday, I'm sure he will be there."

Thomas Tuchel hit out at questions doubting Paris Saint-Germain's form after their extraordinary 4-4 draw at Amiens.

Without Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, PSG incredibly fell 3-0 behind in the first half of the Ligue 1 fixture on Saturday.

However, Tanguy Kouassi's brace and goals from Ander Herrera and Mauro Icardi had them ahead before Serhou Guirassy's 91st-minute equaliser for Amiens.

It ended PSG's nine-game winning run but extended their unbeaten streak to 23 games ahead of the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

But Tuchel was unhappy with suggestions there were doubts for PSG ahead of that clash, saying his side simply had a poor period against Amiens.

"So what now? Should I lose it? It's good for you, you can say we have doubts, doubts, doubts. It's great for you, but not for me," the PSG head coach told a news conference.

"I expect nothing else. I always expect the team not to lose. I know that for you and for everyone it's perfectly normal that we win, we win, we win, with clean sheets, and if we do that it's always easy because we have the best team, the best players.

"And today we just had half an hour without focus, it shows that it can happen. This is Ligue 1. This is Ligue 1. There is quality.

"And now everyone is worried, we have a lot of issues... no, this is life, this is football. We were not focused, it can happen.

"We played 22-23 games super-focused, and for the first time we are not focused today. OK then, we conceded three goals, this is not a normal scenario. OK, I did not expect that, but I did not expect a 4-0, 5-0, 5-1 either.

"And yet it was possible, as we have shown a great reaction even if it was a little bit late. We did not start strongly and disciplined enough and focused. That's it."

Despite the draw, PSG hold a 13-point lead atop the Ligue 1 table.

Thomas Tuchel says Paris Saint-Germain will decide on Sunday whether Neymar will play against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.

PSG, who face Dortmund in the first leg of their last-16 tie in Germany on Tuesday, have been without the Brazil star for their last four matches due to a rib injury.

Neymar missed crucial knockout games against Real Madrid and Manchester United in the last two Champions League seasons, with Tuchel still uncertain about his availability for their latest knockout contest in Europe.

"We have had a very close match and we are already talking about Neymar," Tuchel said after PSG's extraordinary 4-4 draw at Amiens in Ligue 1 on Saturday, a fixture the forward missed.

"Right now, I can't say anything in respect to Neymar. We can feel it is in everyone's minds.

"I still don't know about Neymar for Tuesday. Tomorrow [Sunday] we will make a decision about whether he can play or not."

Even though PSG fought back from three goals down in a thrilling contest with Amiens, Tuchel could not be satisfied after his side were denied victory by Serhou Guirassy's second goal, scored in added time.

However, he was pleased with how his players reacted to falling three behind inside 40 minutes, with Ander Herrera and Mauro Icardi on target either side of a double from teenager Tanguy Kouassi.

"We had the possibility of winning, twice we could have scored a fifth goal," Tuchel added to Canal+.

"Of course, when we concede four goals, we cannot be happy. But it was a complex situation and we arrived here not at 100 per cent.

"In the first half, the opponents shot four times and scored three goals, so things got complicated.

"We weren't focused enough but there are reasons for that. It's normal, there is a decisive match coming in the Champions League, and we did not have the right mentality.

"We reacted well to that and we deserved to win, but now is not the time to be angry."

Paris Saint-Germain fought back from three goals down but were denied by a last-gasp equaliser as they drew 4-4 at Amiens in a remarkable Ligue 1 contest.

Serhou Guirassy, Gael Kakuta and Fousseni Diabate all struck inside 40 minutes as struggling Amiens made an extraordinary start.

But PSG, who were playing without Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Pablo Sarabia, recovered to move to the brink of a memorable victory.

They equalled a Ligue 1 record by scoring in 32 straight away games when Ander Herrera got his first PSG goal just before the break, after which Nianzou Kouassi twice headed in to draw the visitors level.

Mauro Icardi thought he had completed the comeback when he tapped in, but Guirassy had the last word as Amiens salvaged a draw in the first minute of added time.

Paris Saint-Germain have equalled the Ligue 1 record for goals in consecutive away matches after netting for the 32nd straight game on their travels against Amiens.

Ander Herrera netted for PSG in the contest at Stade de la Licorne on Saturday, though that effort only made it 3-1 to Amiens after Serhou Guirassy, Gael Kakuta and Fousseni Diabate all struck in an unbelievable start for the hosts.

That strike ensured Thomas Tuchel's team moved level with the record, which they now jointly hold with Sedan, who went on a 32-match steak of scoring in top-flight away matches between November 1957 and August 1959.

The last time PSG failed to score in a Ligue 1 away game was when they drew 0-0 at Caen in May 2018.

Paris Saint-Germain will be without both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe when the Ligue 1 leaders take on Amiens on Saturday.

Neymar has not played since suffering a rib injury against Montpellier on February 1, forcing him to miss league wins over Nantes and Lyon, as well as the midweek Coupe de France quarter-final triumph over Dijon.

With Borussia Dortmund coming up in the Champions League next week, PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has opted against taking any risks with the Brazil international.

Mbappe played the entire game in the 6-1 thrashing of Dijon on Wednesday, including scoring his side's second goal just before half-time, but will not be involved at all against Amiens.

"We won't take any risks, obviously, but at the same time we'll put out a strong team," Tuchel had said at his pre-match press conference on Friday, prior to naming his squad.

Abdou Diallo, Presnel Kimpembe, Layvin Kurzawa and Thomas Meunier are also absentees for the game against relegation-threatened opponents, along with Pablo Sarabia.

However, Marco Verratti and Marquinhos are included in a 19-man squad as the reigning champions aim to move 15 points clear of nearest rivals Marseille, who are away at Lille on Sunday.

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