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Neymar sent off as PSG beat Bordeaux in seven-goal thriller

Paris (AFP) – Edinson Cavani scored his 200th Paris Saint-Germain goal and Marquinhos netted twice as the Ligue 1 leaders bounced back from their Champions League defeat by Borussia Dortmund to beat Bordeaux 4-3 on Sunday, but their victory was marred by Neymar’s late sending-off.

After losing 2-1 in Germany in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in midweek, PSG’s defensive weaknesses were again exposed as South Korean international Hwang Ui-jo gave Bordeaux the lead at the Parc des Princes.

PSG turned it around thanks to goals by Cavani and Kylian Mbappe either side of a Marquinhos brace, but at the other end there was a bizarre goal credited to the Brazilian defender Pablo and a Ruben Pardo strike had the home side hanging on at the finish.

A richly entertaining encounter then concluded with Neymar being sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card for grappling with Bordeaux’s Yacine Adli, leaving the world’s most expensive player facing a suspension.

It is another unwanted problem for coach Thomas Tuchel, who are now 13 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 from Marseille after Andre Villas-Boas’s side were beaten 3-1 by Nantes on Saturday.

Another domestic title has looked inevitable for sometime, although it will surely all feel rather hollow should the Qatar-owned club fail to turn around the Dortmund tie when the sides meet again in the second leg on March 11.

Tuchel has come in for criticism after Tuesday’s game, including from Neymar over the handling of his latest injury. 

Meanwhile, ahead of the Bordeaux match, Tuchel admitted he was less than impressed at his squad after videos appeared on social media of them out partying to celebrate the birthdays of Cavani, Angel di Maria and Mauro Icardi.

– Defensive worries –

A banner at one end of the Parc des Princes on Sunday night asked the players if they “deserved to wear the colours. Find out on March 11”.

They endured a bad start against mid-table Bordeaux, with skipper Thiago Silva going off hurt just before Hwang put the away side in front on 18 minutes.

The Korean was given the space six yards out to head in a corner for his sixth Ligue 1 goal since moving to France from Gamba Osaka.

PSG were level in the 25th minute, though, as Di Maria’s ball into the box was headed in by Cavani, the Uruguayan reaching a double century of PSG goals to the delight of the home fans.

He then hit the post with a backheel from close range before Marquinhos put Paris in front in first-half stoppage time, using his shoulder to covert a Di Maria free-kick.

Nevertheless, there was still time for Bordeaux to equalise at 2-2 before the interval. 

Selected ahead of Keylor Navas for just his second start in Ligue 1, Sergio Rico’s attempted clearance from a Marco Verratti back-pass struck Pablo and the Spanish goalkeeper looked on in horror as the ball ricocheted back into the net.

Marquinhos got his second of the night in the 63rd minute to make it 3-2, though, turning the ball in from close range after Benoit Costil had saved from Cavani.

Then, when Ruben Pardo carelessly lost possession, Cavani set up Mbappe to score PSG’s fourth goal of the night, his 16th in the league this season.

Pardo made some amends with a stunning strike for Bordeaux’s third, and the ninth goal Paris have conceded in three games.

Those figures underline that, while PSG have the firepower to take on anyone, they need to fix their defence if they are to succeed in Europe.

Icardi then had another goal disallowed before Neymar was sent off for his second yellow right at the death.

Earlier on Sunday, Rennes reclaimed third place from Lille by coming from behind to beat Nimes 2-1 in Brittany as M’Baye Niang scored a brace. Lille had beaten bottom club Toulouse 3-0 on Saturday.

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