Neymar Jr., the world’s most expensive footballer, was stretchered off 10 minutes from time at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night as Paris Saint-Germain beat Marseille 3-0 and opened up a 14-point lead in Ligue 1.
The 26-year-old was on his own when he innocuously rolled his ankle and flopped to the ground in pain. “The first examination in the locker room revealed that it was a twist to the ankle. Now we will do a medical examination to find out what this twist is,” said Unai Emery, whose team face Real Madrid at home on March 6 in the Champions League last 16 where they need to overturn a 3-1 deficit. “We will wait for the examination, we will be optimistic. If I had to say today (whether or not he will face Real) I would rather say yes to being optimistic.
PSG skipper Thiago Silva told Canal+ added: “Neymar already had a swollen ankle. I’m not a doctor, but I don’t think he’ll be available on Wednesday (when PSG face Marseille again in the French Cup). He has to rest.”
It was an otherwise easy night for the big-spending Parisians as teenager Kylian Mbappe became the youngest scorer in the French ‘Classique’.
Uruguayan goal-machine Edinson Cavani was also on the scoresheet while Neymar had a hand in PSG’s other goal.
With Monaco drawing 3-3 at Toulouse on Saturday and Lyon held 1-1 at home to local rivals Saint-Etienne earlier on Sunday, it meant none of PSG’s three nearest challengers managed to win. Monaco remain second with Marseille third, two points behind, and Lyon a further five adrift.
This result was never in doubt and Emery even had the luxury of bringing off Mbappe, 19, after an hour to give Argentine international Angel Di Maria a half-hour run out. PSG were off to a flying start through Mbappe but Marseille were in part the architects of their own downfall.
France midfielder Adrien Rabiot tried to thread a through ball on 10 minutes to Mbappe, cutting in from the right.