Neymar Sent Off, Edinson Cavani Scores 200th PSG Goal in Win vs. Bordeaux

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2020

A slogan pertaining to China is seen on the jersey of Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar during the French L1 football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Girondins de Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, on February 23, 2020. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)
FRANCK FIFE/Getty Images

Neymar was sent off on a night when Paris Saint-Germain narrowly beat Bordeaux in a 4-3 thriller at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night.  

Two goals from Marquinhos, one from Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani's 200th helped PSG overcome goals from Hwang Ui-Jo, Pablo and Ruben Pardo for Bordeaux despite Neymar's late exit.

He was booked in stoppage time of both halves, first for arguing after Pablo had made it 2-2 at the break. Neymar was later shown a second yellow card after dragging Yacine Adli to the floor in the 92nd minute.

The Ligue 1 leaders ultimately held on to stretch their advantage at the top of the table to 13 points after second-place Marseille lost 3-1 at home to Nantes on Saturday.

Neymar was starting in a front four alongside Mbappe, Cavani and Angel Di Maria for a rare time in recent months. The depth of quality in Les Parisiens' lineup showed early on when Mbappe and Neymar combined well, with the latter nodding a header wide.

Rather than being overawed, Bordeaux weren't shy about flexing their own attacking muscle. Most of it came from Samuel Kalu, who ran the PSG defence ragged with his pace and power.

The hosts were forced into an early and significant change at the back when Thiago Silva had to be subbed for holding midfielder Idrissa Gueye. Marquinhos dropped back into defence, but the disruption allowed Bordeaux to catch PSG cold when Hwang headed in from a corner.

It proved enough to awaken Les Parisiens from their slumbers. The equaliser came seven minutes later when Di Maria crossed for Cavani, who glanced in a landmark goal:

PSG's record goalscorer struck the post soon after before Neymar threaded an inch-perfect pass to release Mbappe. The latter dragged his shot just wide, but Mbappe's speed and timing were giving former Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny a torrid time.

Persistent pressure looked to have told when Marquinhos met a Di Maria free-kick deep into first-half stoppage time. The ball hit the Brazilian on the shoulder, but the goal was eventually upheld after a lengthy VAR review.

PSG should have taken their good fortune into the break, but backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico eschewed a clearance straight at Pablo. The deflection landed in the net and proceeded Neymar and Cavani getting booked for their protests in the aftermath.

Bordeaux stayed in the ascendancy after the break, with Kalu having an effort cleared off the line by Marquinhos. Rico also redeemed himself somewhat with a superb save to turn a Pablo header from close range over the bar.

The home side's attempts to answer back saw Cavani drag a shot inches wide after being played in behind the Bordeaux defence by Neymar. It was a chance a striker with Cavani's pedigree should have converted comfortably.

PSG were reeling, but Marquinhos struck again three minutes after the hour mark. He reacted quickest in the box after fine work from Cavani and Mbappe.

The same double act combined brilliantly for Les Parisiens' fourth. A sweet one-two saw Cavani return a pass to Mbappe, who finished with the minimum of fuss.

Two goals in six minutes didn't force Bordeaux to buckle completely. Instead, the visitors got a third through former Real Sociedad midfielder Pardo, who struck a thunderous effort beyond Rico seven minutes from time.

Substitute Mauro Icardi thought he'd put the game out of sight, but the Argentinian's 20th goal of the campaign was ruled out when VAR correctly judged Mbappe had been offside in the build.

PSG faced a tense final few minutes trying to preserve a narrow lead. Their case wasn't helped when Neymar picked up another booking for taking out Adli after reacting to a foul by Youssouf Sabaly.

Les Parisiens eventually saw out a win that left more questions than answers about Thomas Tuchel's team. Neymar's ill-discipline has created the wrong type of headlines about a squad under pressure following the 2-1 defeat away to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League last 16.

The PSG defence, further weakened by Silva's withdrawal, also appears far from equipped to help this club realise its elusive ambitions at the highest level.

What's Next?

PSG host Dijon on Saturday, while Bordeaux welcome Nice the following the day.

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