Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed that Brazilian forward Neymar suffered a fractured metatarsal and sprained ankle in Sunday’s win over Marseille.
Neymar, who joined PSG for a world-record transfer fee last summer, looks certain to miss the second leg of his side’s Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid on 6 March.
Neymar was taken off on a stretcher during the 3-0 win at Parc des Princes and the club said that a scan has revealed a “fissure of the fifth metatarsal” – a bone on the outside of the foot – and a “sprain of the right ankle”.
The French club did not say how long the forward will be out for, but the expected time for recovery and recuperation from a metatarsal injury is between two and three months. Neymar’s compatriot, Gabriel Jesus, missed 10 weeks for Manchester City last season with a fractured metatarsal.
A similar length of time out for Neymar could result in the 26-year-old missing the rest of PSG’s season. Unai Emery’s side are 14 points clear in Ligue 1 but are chasing a domestic treble. PSG face Marseille in a Coupe de France quarter-final on Wednesday, and will play Monaco in the League Cup final on 31 March.
Neymar could face a race to be fit for the Champions League quarter-finals, which begin on 3 April – if PSG can overcome a 3-1 first-leg deficit without him. Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane reacted to the news, saying “I don’t like it when a player hurts himself, I am not happy about the injury. We never rejoice when a rival is absent due to injury.”
Dortmund drop points as fans stay away
Borussia Dortmund were held to a 1-1 draw by Augsburg as almost 25,000 home fans boycotted the Monday night Bundesliga match.
Marco Reus put Dortmund ahead in the 16th minute but Kevin Danso’s 73rd-minute equaliser left Dortmund 19 points behind leaders Bayern Munich and facing a tight battle for Champions League qualification.
The match was played out in front of an official crowd of 54,300 – significantly down on the team’s average home attendance – while many fans displayed banners protesting the scheduling of the match on Monday evening.
Frankfurt’s match with RB Leipzig last Monday saw protests that delayed the game on two occasions. The Bundesliga have introduced five Monday matches this season, a move met with fierce opposition from supporters.
Schürrle’s cross to Michy Batshuayi was cut out by Augsburg defender Martin Hinteregger, only for Reus to steer the loose ball into the roof of the net. Dortmund dominated the rest of the first half but the visitors responded after the break.
Austrian defender Danso tapped home the rebound from close range after Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki had parried his header at a corner. Batshuayi and Mahmoud Dahoud both missed late chances to snatch a winner for the hosts.
In Serie A, Napoli moved four points clear with an impressive 5-0 win at struggling Cagliari, extending their league winning streak to 11 games.
First-half goals from José Callejón and Dries Mertens set the league leaders on their way before a Marek Hamsik thunderbolt, a Lorenzo Insigne penalty and a superb free kick from Mario Rui wrapped up the victory.
Napoli have 69 points from 26 games, with Juventus on 65 points with a game in hand. Juve’s home game against Atalanta was postponed on Sunday due to heavy snow.
Arsene Wenger will fight to stay on as Arsenal manager beyond this summer, regardless of whether he can lead them to Europa League glory, according to reports. There is widespread speculation that this could be the Frenchman’s final season in charge of the Gunners as a disappointing campaign unfolds. The Gunners lost to Manchester City in the final of the League Cup on Sunday, were knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest and look almost certain to miss out on the top four in the Premier League.
Their one hope is success in the Europa League – which would also bring Champions League qualification – however they face AC Milan in the next round and other tough tests could await them. Despite growing calls for Wenger to step aside, the Daily Mail report that sources close to the Frenchman say he will look to cling on to his job. He plans to at the very least see out his contract, which expires in the summer of 2019. The Evening Standard also report that he is keen to stay on.
It’s understood that Arsenal will review Wenger’s position at the end of the season. There is a sense that the club, which has always backed their manager, could be leaning towards a change of coach. There have been numerous changes behind the scenes including appointments that have removed some power from Wenger. The Daily Mail also report that chief executive Ivan Gazidis pushed for Wenger to become director of football last summer, but was unable to shift the 68-year-old from his current role.
Contenders to replace Wenger are already emerging with Carlo Ancelotti, Germany coach Joachim Low, Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim, Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri, Man City coach Mikel Arteta and Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers understood to be among them.