Neymar stretchered off for PSG against Lille
Paris Saint-Germain’s superstar Neymar had to be stretchered off in the second half of his side’s 4-3 Ligue 1 victory over Lille on Sunday afternoon.
The Brazil international set Kylian Mbappe away for an 11th-minute opener before finding the net himself, taking his personal tally to 13 goals and 11 assists in 19 league games this season.
Bafode Diakite halved the hosts’ advantage in an eventful first half which saw Lille captain Jose Fonte and PSG’s wingback Nuno Mendes also depart through injury.
Neymar required the medical staff six minutes after the restart. While bringing the ball under control near the centre circle, Neymar was challenged from behind by Lille’s midfielder Benjamin Andre.
The 32-year-old didn’t make a great deal of contact with Neymar but knocked him off balance, sending him tumbling as he awkwardly twisted his ankle while landing.
PSG’s number ten grimaced as he fell towards the turf, shrieking in pain before writhing in agony. Neymar initially tried to limp off the pitch but conceded that he required a stretcher to make it into PSG’s treatment room.
The 20-year-old French striker Hugo Ekitike replaced his more illustrious teammate with almost the enitre second half left to play.
Neymar featured in 20 of PSG’s first 24 Ligue 1 games of the season, hitting a rich vein of form before the winter World Cup. The only domestic match Neymar missed before jetting off to Qatar with Brazil was the result of a yellow card suspension.
However, injury has dogged Neymar’s time in Paris since becoming the most expensive footballer on the planet in 2017. The Brazilian’s ankle has proven to be a particularly problematic area, with Neymar missing 12 club games last season between November and February while he recovered from an injury to the joint.
Jonathan David and Jonathan Bamba put Lille 3-2 up after Neymar departed by a second goal from Mbappe and a 95th-minute winner from Lionel Messi prevented PSG from slumping to a fourth consecutive defeat.
Neymar’s recovery schedule will weigh heavy on the minds of those in the French capital as PSG travel to the home of their fierce rivals Marseille next Sunday. Galtier’s side also have the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern Munich to come on Wednesday, 8 March.
How much involvement Neymar has in that European tie remains to be seen but the Brazilian may not have the chance to turn out for PSG in the Champions League again if his teammates can’t overturn the 1-0 deficit from the first leg. Earlier this month, reports revealed that Neymar has been made available to a number of Premier League clubs.