PSG out to avoid bumps on title road
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Beckham will be back to face Lyon on Sunday, Sirigu and Veratti (not in picture) are still banned for another match, while Silva must sit out two games. REUTERS photoParis Saint-Germain could wrap up a first French title since 1994 this weekend, but given recent troubles they may be expecting further bumps in the road as they travel to Lyon on Sunday. PSG could have sealed the deal a week ago, and given they were hosting mid-table Valenciennes, they could have been forgiven for putting the champagne on ice. Yet that turned into an unexpected banana skin, and not just because the champions-elect dropped two points.
They lost centre-back Thiago Silva to a red card before half-time and saw five players booked as they needed a late leveller from Alex to snatch a share of the spoils. What’s more, sporting director Leonardo got himself into hot water with an apparent shove on referee Alexandre Castro in the tunnel after the game, leading to a temporary ban. That came just a week after PSG had both Marco Veratti and David Beckham sent-off in an ill-tempered 1-0 victory at relegation-threatened Evian before goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu also saw red after the final whistle.
Although Beckham will be back to face Lyon, Sirigu and Veratti are still banned for another match, while Silva must sit out two games.
Leonardo, who has protested his innocence and claims to have been pushed into Castro, will also be absent as Champions League chasing Lyon look to stall the Parisians’ title party for another week at least.
Taking on Remi Garde’s team with several first choice players missing is far from ideal for PSG, particularly as their opponents have important objectives to play for. Lyon currently hold third place, the final Champions League qualifying position, but travel to fourth-placed Nice in a week. If they drop points to PSG, they could risk falling out of the top three altogether should they lose to former coach Claude Puel’s side next week.