Neymar had to be ‘restrained by club staff’ after Paris Saint-Germain were dramatically dumped out of the Champions League by Manchester United.
The £198million man was on the sidelines at the Parc des Princes as he continues to recover from a metatarsal injury he sustained in January. And, according to RMC Sport, the player’s anger at his side’s dramatic exit spilled over into the tunnel afterwards.
Neymar angrily tried to enter the referees’ office as his frustration at Damir Skomina’s late penalty award – which was given via the interference of VAR – boiled over, according to the report. According to eye-witnesses, who spoke to RMC, Neymar is alleged to have forced his way through the corridor to the officials’ office and had to be restrained by members of the PSG staff outside the door.
Club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was also left seething, according to the RMCreport, after seeing another Champions League campaign go up in smoke. The Qatari let his anger out, bashing against a door in frustration. The pair’s grievances stemmed from another failed campaign but the contentious issue of the night surrounded an injury-time penalty.
The referee judged that a handball from Presnel Kimpembe had been deliberate and after consultation with VAR in the form of a pitchside review, the decision and was given and United progressed on away goals. While much of the RMC report is focused on the outburst in the bowels of the Parc des Princes, it also highlights the moment Neymar became a confidant to devastated team-mates – and also his wounded manager.
Neymar and boss Thomas Tuchel are reported to have embraced in a hug, which goes against suggestions in recent months that the Brazilian could be angling for an exit under the former Borussia Dortmund boss. Neymar would find himself lucky to escape a ban from UEFA, not just for his actions behind the scenes but also for his comments immediately after the full-time whistle on Wednesday.
The Brazilian was livid with the referee and blasted him on Instagram: ‘This is a disgrace, they put four people that know nothing about football in charge of looking at the replay for VAR,’ he wrote. There is no penalty. How can it be a handball when it hits his back! Go f*** yourselves!’
PSG were knocked out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage by Real Madrid last season and continue to fall short in the tournament they want to win most of all. Neymar’s side are still set to win Ligue 1 at a canter and also have a chance of glory in the French Cup. However, it is the Champions League in which they wanted to prevail the most, in order to demonstrate how far they have progressed under Qatari ownership.