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Paris Saint-Germain was held to a 0-0 draw against arch-rivals Marseille

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Paris Saint-Germain was held to a 0-0 draw against arch-rivals Marseille

On Sunday, Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain were held to a 0-0 draw against arch-rivals Marseille after playing more than half an hour with 10 men due to minor crowd unrest.

After both clubs had goals disallowed in an intriguing first half, the game was briefly delayed twice due to incidents between OM fans. PSG, who had Achraf Hakimi sent off in the 57th minute, has 28 points from 11 games and are seven points ahead of Lens and nine points ahead of Nice.

Despite Dimitri Payet and Marseille president Jacques-Henri-protests, Eyraud’s Marseille fans pelted the ground with paper and bottles on a regular basis during the match. It got so nasty that security had to bring out riot shields to protect Neymar whenever he went to take a corner.

The same thing happened to the Brazilian superstar in 2017, when he was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in as many minutes.

After an unsuccessful performance, he was replaced by Gini Wijnaldum. Lionel Messi failed to score in the Ligue One match, but he was involved in one of the game’s strongest moments when he was chased by a fan while dribbling.

In the second half, on the counter-attack, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was cutting inside in customary form when a man in a puffer jacket and pants emerged out of nowhere.

After gaining entrance to the pitch with relative ease, the fan wrapped his arm around Messi before being escorted from the field by stewards. In the deadlock, PSG summer signing Achraf Hakimi was sent off just before the hour mark for bundling over Cengiz Under as the last man.

At first, the referee penalized the Turkey international for handball, but after consulting the VAR screen, he reversed his judgment and dismissed Hakimi.

Both teams had goals disallowed for offside, and the game ended all square, with PSG leading by seven points after this weekend’s results.

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PSG VS REAL MADRID: Predictions, Preview, and Probable Lineups

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PSG VS REAL MADRID: Predictions, Preview, and Probable Lineups

In the opening leg of their UEFA Champions League Round-of-16 match, PSG and Real Madrid will face off. The knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League begin this week, with Real Madrid taking on Ligue 1 champions-elect Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes on Tuesday.

French champions PSG finished second in Group A, behind English champions Manchester City. Les Parisiens had a mixed group stage, winning half and losing one (D2). They are coming off victories against Lille and Rennes, and boss Mauricio Pochettino will be looking for another important win.

Real Madrid won Group D, beating Inter Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Sheriff Tiraspol. Prior to this crucial meeting, Los Blancos had won five of their six group stage matches (L1). Carlo Ancelotti’s side has won just one of their past four games, most notably a 0-0 draw with Villarreal, and will need to improve.

Real Madrid and PSG last met in the 2019/20 Champions League group stages, with the latter losing both meetings (D1 L1). The Hard Tackle examines both teams before Tuesday’s heavyweight clash at Parc des Princes.

Team News & Tactics

PSG

Sergio Ramos, who left Real Madrid after 16 years to join PSG on a free transfer, is injured. Also, Ander Herrera is doubtful owing to a thigh injury, and Juan Bernat is not registered for the knockout phase.

The great news is that Neymar has returned to training and may start against Real Madrid. On Tuesday, the Brazilian is anticipated to start on the left wing with former Barcelona captain Lionel Messi and Los Blancos target Kylian Mbappe. Angel Di Maria will be a bench option.

Gianluigi Donnarumma is slated to start in place of Keylor Navas, who began last weekend. Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe should defend centrally, with Nuno Mendes and Achraf Hakimi at full-back. The former will be trying to avenge a loss to Spain.

Danilo Pereira should start after missing the last game. To stop Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, the Portuguese should play defensive midfield alongside Leandro Paredes. A penetrating pass forward from Marco Verratti will be chased by Neymar and Mbappe.

PSG Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Kimpembe, Mendes; Paredes, Pereira, Verratti; Mbappe, Messi, Neymar

Real Madrid

Karim Benzema has been included in the traveling squad after recovering from an injury. Ferland Mendy is also back in the mix after completing a full training session the day before the game. Carlo Ancelotti returns to PSG with a fit and healthy squad.

Thibaut Courtois will defend the Real Madrid goal against Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe. The backline of Dani Carvajal, Eder Militao, David Alaba, and the fit-again Mendy will need to protect him. The PSG strikers’ pace will test the full-backs in particular.

Casemiro will be responsible for protecting the defenders and cleaning up after the fans in the park. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos will be in charge of the creative side of things. Ancelotti may turn to Federico Valverde for additional bite and energy in midfield.

It’s impossible to ignore Benzema up top, though it’s unclear if he’ll be at his best after a short break. On the right wing, Marco Asensio should beat Rodrygo Goes, while on the left, Vinicius Junior is the man to beat.

Real Madrid Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius

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Manchester United Footballer Mason Greenwood Released on Bail

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Manchester United Footballer Mason Greenwood Released on Bail

Mason Greenwood, a Manchester United and England footballer, was freed on bail on Wednesday by Greater Manchester Police ‘waiting further investigation.’ The 20-year-old was apprehended for the first time on Sunday after Greater Manchester Police received information about “online social media photographs and videos posted by an 18-year-old woman describing episodes of physical assault.” He was re-arrested in jail yesterday on accusations of sexual assault and making threatening to kill his alleged victim.

‘A 20-year-old man arrested on suspicion of rape and assault of a woman has been released on bail pending further investigation,’ said a Greater Manchester Police spokesman. On Monday, detectives were given more time to question the player, who has yet to be named as a suspect.

Following the striker’s arrest, EA Sports announced that Greenwood would be deleted from all FIFA products. He was removed out of active squads in FIFA 22 and banned from appearing in FIFA Ultimate Team packs and Ultimate Draft, according to the report.

Nike had previously stated that their partnership with the footballer had been terminated.

“We are deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations and will continue to closely monitor the situation,” a spokesman said.

Greenwood, who debuted for Manchester United in March 2019, signed a four-year contract in February of last year after progressing through the youth levels.

The club said on Sunday that it “did not condone violence of any sort” and that it had been informed of the charges, but that it would not comment further until the “facts had been proven.”

The club “reiterates its strong disapproval of violence of any type,” according to a statement released on Tuesday.

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Lionel Messi tests positive for COVID, PSG confirms

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Lionel Messi tests positive for COVID, PSG confirms

Ballon d’Or winner seven times Lionel Messi is one of four players in the Paris Saint-Germain squad who have tested positive for the coronavirus before Monday night’s French Cup match.

COVID-19 was also found in one of PSG’s employees, according to a statement released on Saturday night. At the time, none of them were identified, but the club later mentioned Messi, left defender Juan Bernat, backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico, and 19-year-old midfielder Nathan Bitumazala in a statement on the team’s medical update on Sunday.

PSG is playing at third-tier Vannes.

Monaco, the runner-up from last year, was in play later Sunday at second-tier Quevilly-Rouen, one of 13 games set for the day as teams compete for a spot in the final 16.

Monaco announced on Saturday that seven players have COVID-19, but none have shown any alarming symptoms and are undergoing isolation.

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