PSG Loss Overshadowed By Thefts At Di Maria, Marquinhos Homes

File COMBO of Marquinhos-Di-Maria

 

Paris Saint-Germain forward Angel Di Maria was the victim of a burglary during Sunday’s loss to Nantes, while robbers also targeted the family home of captain Marquinhos, the latest in a spate of thefts at the club.

Thieves stole jewellery and watches from the house of Argentine international Di Maria in the western Paris suburbs, but “there was no violence” involved, sources told AFP on Monday.

According to the police’s special anti-robbery squad, the player’s family was home at the time but “didn’t come across” the thieves, a source close to the case explained.

They “didn’t hear anything” during the ransacking of a safe located upstairs in the home in Neuilly, a police source added. The value of stolen goods has yet to be assessed but is said to be less than 500,000 euros ($600,000).

Di Maria last week signed a one-year extension to his PSG contract until 2022. He was replaced an hour into the 2-1 loss to Nantes following a discussion between sporting director Leonardo and coach Mauricio Pochettino.

The family home of Brazil international Marquinhos was also robbed in the Paris region.

The player’s father and two sisters were home during the break-in. A police source said the father was struck in the ribs by the attackers but no injuries were sustained. Several bags containing valuables were stolen, the contents of which have yet to be determined.

PSG forward Mauro Icardi was the victim of a break-in at his home last month. Thiago Silva, Dani Alves and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting were also robbed in recent years while playing for the club.

The commotion off the field seemed to affect PSG’s players as Nantes dealt the French champions a seventh Ligue 1 defeat of the season.

“It’s not an excuse but there has been an unusual drop in energy,” Pochettino said after the match. “We spoke with the players but not about what happened in terms of the football.”

“There are situations outside the game which must be considered.”

Di Maria previously admitted that an attempted robbery on his family’s home during his one year at Manchester United, in 2014-15, had left him keen to leave the Premier League club.

-AFP

PSG’s Di Maria Gets Four-Match Spitting Ban

(FILES)  Di Maria is suspended for four matches for spitting on a Marseille player, the French Ligue announced on September 23, 2020. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

 

Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria received a four-match ban on Wednesday for spitting during this month’s fiery Marseille game which saw five players red-carded and claims by Neymar of racial abuse.

Di Maria’s suspension meted out by Ligue 1’s disciplinary commission was for spitting at Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez.

It takes effect from September 29, meaning he can play against Reims on Sunday, returning the weekend of November 8.

Neymar’s accusation that Gonzalez racially abused him will be investigated on September 30, the commission announced.

Neymar was sent off for slapping Gonzalez on the back of the head, accusing the Spaniard of calling him a “monkey”. Gonzalez denies the charge.

The world’s most expensive player was served with a two-match ban last week for that incident in the September 13 fixture at the Parc des Princes.

Also last week PSG defender Layvin Kurzawa incurred a six-match ban for kicking out at Marseille left-back Jordan Amavi, who was hit with a suspension of three games after he too was dismissed.

And Leandro Paredes was banned for two games after he was sent off for a clash with fellow Argentine Dario Benedetto, who was also red-carded and suspended.

Marseille won the game 1-0.

The French league’s disciplinary commission is also investigating accusations that Neymar made racist remarks towards Marseille’s Japanese right-back Hiroki Sakai and made a homophobic slur against Gonzalez.

Any player found guilty of racist or discriminatory abuse risks a ban of up to 10 matches.

 

 

-AFP

Di Maria Stunner Grabs Point For PSG Against Napoli

Di Maria Stunner Grabs Point For PSG Against Napoli
Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentine midfielder Angel Di Maria (front) vies for the ball with Napoli’s Serbian defender Nikola Maksimovic (rear) during the UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Paris Saint-Germain and SSC Napoli at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, on October 24, 2018. Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP

 

Angel Di Maria’s stunning goal in injury time allowed an out-of-sorts Paris Saint-Germain to snatch a 2-2 draw with an impressive Napoli side in their Champions League clash on Wednesday.

PSG looked beaten until Di Maria curled home in the third minute of time added on, salvaging a point from a game in which they had been second-best for long spells.

Prior to that it looked as though goals from Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens, either side of a Mario Rui own goal, would give Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli the victory in the French capital.

Instead, the biggest beneficiaries of this result are surely Liverpool, who move to the top of Group C after easing to a 4-0 win over Red Star Belgrade in the night’s other game.

Despite the late blow, Napoli can still be the happier of the teams with a point, while the ambitious PSG’s own hopes of reaching the knockout rounds and finally making a major impression in this competition remain in the balance.

It was an accomplished away performance from Napoli, but PSG’s all-star attack of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani all toiled for much of the evening, which was a world away from the strolls they so often enjoy domestically.

They have won all 10 of their games in Ligue 1, a record-breaking start to a French season that has led to new coach Thomas Tuchel being showered with praise.

However, doubts had already been raised about their true capabilities when they performed poorly in losing 3-2 to Liverpool at Anfield.

Tuchel did not deserve to be judged on that one game, but once again his team were exposed by a leading European side, with Ancelotti revelling in his latest return to Paris.

Ancelotti coached PSG to the Ligue 1 title in 2013 before leaving for Real Madrid, and he first returned to the Parc des Princes a year ago in charge of Bayern Munich only to be sacked by the German giants after a chastening 3-0 defeat.

This time his Napoli team were excellent for long spells, fresh from beating Liverpool in their last European outing.

– Tuchel forced to take action –

They nearly took the lead midway through the first half when Mertens guided a Mario Rui cross against the bar.

The warning was not heeded by PSG, and Napoli went ahead just before the half-hour mark, Jose Callejon’s superb pass in behind finding Insigne, who finished beautifully over the advancing Alphonse Areola.

It took PSG until seven minutes before the interval to really threaten thanks to a combination of their two superstar forwards — Neymar released Mbappe, but the France World Cup winner saw his shot saved by David Ospina.

Tuchel knew action was needed and he switched to a back three for the second half, taking off struggling left-back Juan Bernat and replacing him with another centre-back in Thilo Kehrer.

Paris duly stepped up the pressure and were rewarded with the equaliser in the 61st minute, although there was more than a touch of good fortune about the goal.

Mbappe exchanged passes with Neymar before releasing Thomas Meunier, whose low ball in from the right was turned into his own net by Mario Rui, the Portuguese defender.

Napoli shook off that blow and retook the lead when Mertens stabbed home from close range in the 77th minute after Marquinhos had blocked a shot from Fabian Ruiz.

That appeared to be that, but just as PSG looked defeated, substitute Julian Draxler laid the ball off to Di Maria in the 93rd minute and he curled a superb strike high into the top-left corner from 25 yards.

AFP

Chelsea Manager Reacts To Champions League Exit

ChelseaChelsea’s interim manager, Guus Hiddink, says his side showed too much respect to Paris St-Germain (PSG) as the Blues exited this season’s UEFA Champions League.

Hiddink lamented that the hosts lost their cutting edge when Diego Costa went off injured in the second half of the game.

Chelsea, who are currently 10th in the English Premier League, now have the FA Cup as their only hope of a trophy this season.

It was a dream come true for the League One side PSG, as they beat Chelsea 2-1 in Wednesday night’s second leg round-of-16 tie at the Stamford Bridge.

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot opened the scoring for Paris st-Germain (PSG) before Costa fired a fantastic shot to level the score board in the first half.

The morale of the French side went high in the second half as Zlatan Ibrahimovic set PSG on the lead with an assist from Angel Di Maria.

Eden Hazard has been largely criticised for his role in the defeat and was booed by some Chelsea fans when he was substituted 13 minutes from time.

Hazard swapped shirts with PSG winger Angel Di Maria as the players left the field at half time and this did not impress the fans.

But defender, Branislav Ivanovic has jumped into the defence of the midfielder, arguing that the Belgian showed his commitment to the cause by playing.

“People have to think about the fact he started the game injured,” Ivanovic told Evening Standard.

“Did that show how committed he is? Yes. Of course when you lose a game the fans are not happy and they have to be like that.

“But in my opinion it was one of his best performances so far. He was very strong and quick. He wanted to score and had a couple of actions where he looked like last season.”

UCL: PSG Humble Chelsea At Stamford Bridge

PSGIt was a dream come true for the League One side, PSG, as they beat Chelsea 2-1 in Wednesday night’s second leg round-of-16 tie of the UEFA Champions League (UCL).

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot opened the scoring for Paris St-Germain (PSG) before Chelsea forward, Diego Costa fired a fantastic shot to level the score board.

Subsequently, both sides held their grounds to defend their goals which lasted till the end of the first half.

It seemed the morale of the French side increased in the second half as Zlatan Ibrahimovic set PSG on the lead with an assist from Angel Di Maria in the 67th minute.

PSG have led Chelsea out of the champions league and have also progressed to the quarter finals after thrashing Chelsea 2-1 both at the Parc des Princes stadium and Stamford Bridge consecutively.

Di Maria Leads Argentina To Victory

di mariaAngel Di Maria captained Argentina to a 2-0 win over El Salvador in their international friendly on Saturday.

The team’s captain, Lionel Messi, missed the game due to a bruised foot.

Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said he decided to not play Messi after a practice on Friday, in which the striker was still showing lingering pain.

“If the player is not ready, there is not a need to put him at risk,” Martino said.

Banega scored with a 54th minute shot that deflected off defender Nestor Renderos and beat goalkeeper Derby Carrillo. Mancuello sealed the win with a free-kick from a tight angle in the 88th.

While Di Maria’s performance was not outstanding, wearing the captain’s band is expected to boost his confidence at Manchester United.

Di Maria has been a full international for Argentina since 2008. He has earned over 50 caps for his country. He scored the goal that won the country gold at the 2008 Olympics, and has also represented them at two World Cups and the 2011 Copa América.

Angel Di Maria beat off competition from the likes of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero to win Argentina’s Player of the Year Award for 2014.

English FA Cup: Van Gaal Hails Resilient Man United Performance

van GaalManchester United Manager, Louis van Gaal, was happy to see his charges secure a safe passage to the FA Cup fourth round following a tough match against Yeovil Town.

Strikes from Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria gave the Reds a 2-0 win in a hard-fought battle on Sunday afternoon and Mr van Gaal believes the players deserve some credit for their resilient display.

“It’s always difficult to play against such teams,” van Gaal told BT Sport.

“They gave us not so much time and every ball came under pressure. I have lot of respect for the players and coach of Yeovil Town – it was not so easy for us.

“In the second half, we had a little bit more time and space, we played better and were more patient,” he added.

“We kept the ball better also and, because of that, we could score the winning goal.

“We dominated the game, more so in the second half. They had one chance from a set-piece, but we were organised and Angel Di Maria cleared it away.

“It’s just simple organisation. I think they maybe had one more chance after a mistake from one of my players, but that’s it.”

On Di Maria’s impact on the game, the coach said, “It was class, and not his first from outside the box. It had a little bit of luck, but you need that, I’m very happy for him.”

The victory did not come without some price for the reds as Rafael and Luke Shaw were forced off during half time.

The Brazilian has a suspected fractured cheekbone, while England international Shaw sustained an ankle problem.

The defensive pair did not reappear after half-time of the FA Cup third-round tie, with the Reds bringing on Juan Mata and Jonny Evans and reverting to the back-four.

Premier League Has World’s Best Attacking Players – Wenger

WengerArsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has taken a swipe at other top leagues in Europe, saying that the English Premier League has the best attacking players in the world.

Wenger, who is preparing his side for an “intense” North London derby at home to Tottenham on Saturday, insisted that the best players play in the EPL as English clubs now have huge financial potential and offensive power.

“We have all the best attacking players in the Premier League,” Wenger said.

“The clubs here have huge financial potential and offensive power. All the best players play here.”

English Premier League clubs spent a record £835m this summer as Alexis Sanchez arrived at Arsenal; Manchester United signed Radamel Falcao on loan and Angel Di Maria in a British record £59.7m deal; Chelsea acquired Diego Costa and Liverpool purchased Mario Balotelli as replacement for Luis Suarez, last season’s top scorer with 31 goals.

Danny Welbeck also arrived at Arsenal in a £16m deal from Manchester United, and his first goal for the club helped secure a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa last Saturday.

Both Sanchez and Welbeck could feature for Arsenal against Spurs in Saturday’s late kick-off.

“North London derbies are always very intense and the players from both sides know each other so well,” added Wenger.

“Over the years Tottenham have always had a good team and for us to be on top of them means we can fight for the top of the league.

“These games are important moments in the season.”

The Gunners, third highest scorers this season with 10 goals, are fourth in the table, two points clear of Spurs.

Man United’s Louis Van Gaal Furious After Leicester Humiliation

Man UnitedLouis van Gaal has accused his shell-shocked Manchester United players of “throwing the game away” after their second-half collapse against Leicester City on Sunday.

Van Gaal was left stunned by a shambolic defensive performance from his reconstructed team and admitted it brought back painful memories.

Man United were looking good to achieve back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time under Louis van Gaal when leading 3-1 thanks to goals from Robin van Persie, Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera.

However, the newly-promoted side hit back with devastating effect in the second half of the match.

Goals from David Nugent, Esteban Cambiasso, Jamie Vardy and Leonardo Ulloa saw Nigel Pearson’s men fight back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to win 5-3 and pick up their first win at the King Power Stadium in the Premier League.

After two home draws against Everton and Arsenal, the Foxes were looking for a big result against a rejuvenated Man Utd side who started with Falcao, Van Persie and Wayne Rooney in attack.

Reports say Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal, gave his squad the famous Sir Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment following the humiliating 5-3 loss.

This is according to Sky News anchor, Eamonn Holmes, who said he walked past the United dressing room after full-time and revealed that Van Gaal handed a stern dressing down.

Manchester United Sign Di Maria From Real Madrid

English Premier League side, Manchester United completed the signing of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for a British record transfer fee of £59.7m.

Di Maria flew into Manchester from Spain on Monday night and successfully underwent a medical before finalising a five-year deal on Tuesday.

The Argentine revealed United were the only club he was willing to leave Madrid for and said he cannot wait to work with Louis van Gaal.

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester United,” Di Maria told the club’s official website.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Spain and there were a lot of clubs interested in me, but United is the only club that I would have left Real Madrid for”.

He also had some nice words for the manager Louis van Gaal and praised the determination of every one at Old Trafford to get the club back to the top where it belongs.

“Louis van Gaal is a fantastic coach with a proven track record of success and I am impressed by the vision and determination everyone has to get this club back to the top – where it belongs.

“I now just cannot wait to get started.”

Van Gaal praised Di Maria as “a world-class midfielder” but added “most importantly he is a team player”.

“There is no doubting his immense natural talent,” continued the Dutchman.

“He is a tremendously fast and incisive left-footed player who puts fear into the most accomplished defence. His dribbling skills and his ability to take on and beat opponents are a joy to watch. He is an excellent addition to the team”.

He is likely to make his debut on Saturday against Burnley in the Premier League.

26 year-old, Di Maria began his career at one of the most prolific youth academies in Argentinian football, Rosario Central. In 2007, he moved to Europe to play for Portuguese club Benfica, before signing for Real Madrid in 2010.

The Argentina international has 52 caps for his national team, scoring 10 goals.

The fee paid for the winger, eclipses the £50m Chelsea paid Liverpool for striker Fernando Torres in 2011.

United last broke the British transfer record when they paid Leeds £29.1m for former England defender Rio Ferdinand in 2002.

World Cup: Messi, Neymar Make 10-Man Best Player Award Shortlist

golden ballArgentine, Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar have been nominated among the 10 players shortlisted for the award for best player at the World Cup.

Finalists, Argentina and Germany produced seven of the candidates announced by FIFA on Friday.

Messi is nominated along with Argentina teammates Angel Di Maria and Javier Mascherano, while Germany provides four candidates: Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Mueller.

Neymar is the only candidate from Brazil. Arjen Robben of the Netherlands and James Rodriquez of Colombia, the tournament’s top scorer with six goals, complete the list.

The players were selected by FIFA’s technical study group of coaching analysts and the winner is selected by the FIFA technical group and announced after the final.

The candidates for best young player are Memphis Depay of the Netherlands, and France pair Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane. Nominees for that award must have been born since Jan. 1, 1993.

Previous Golden Ball winners are:

1982 FIFA World Cup Spain: Paolo Rossi (Italy)

1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico: Diego Maradona (Argentina)

1990 FIFA World Cup Italy: Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)

1994 FIFA World Cup USA: Romario (Brazil)

1998 FIFA World Cup France: Ronaldo (Brazil)

2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan: Oliver Kahn (Germany)

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany: Zinedine Zidane (France)

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa: Diego Forlan (Uruguay)