December 3, 2021

‘The penalty was a joke!’ – Nagelsmann accuses Di Maria of diving in RB Leipzig defeat at PSG

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After a VAR review Marcel Sabitzer was deemed to have fouled the Argentine, which led to the game’s only goal

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann has slammed the decision that led to PSG’s penalty in his side’s 1-0 defeat, saying it was a “joke” while also accusing Angel Di Maria of diving. 

PSG were awarded an early penalty in Tuesday’s Champions League clash after a VAR review, with Marcel Sabitzer deemed to have fouled Di Maria just inside the penalty area. 

Neymar stepped up and converted from the spot after 11 minutes and that goal would hold up, as the Ligue 1 champions earned a 1-0 win over Leipzig.

It was a crucial victory for PSG, who moved up to second in Group H, level on points with Leipzig who are third. Both clubs sit three points behind group leaders Manchester United.

Nagelsmann was clearly unhappy with the manner in which the home side earned their penalty on Tuesday, saying the decision was not acceptable. 

“I don’t think Paris had a real chance in the game and the penalty was a joke,” Nagelsmann fumed to Sky Germany.

“That decision at Champions League level – that’s really sad. That was a dive, there was zero contact. VAR was probably watching another game.

“Sometimes nuances make the difference and in the end it would have been deserved if we had rewarded ourselves. Now we are holding worse cards in the group, we have to win our two games and hope that Paris doesn’t succeed.”

Speaking to RMC Sport after the match, PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel expressed his relief to have come away with three points after he entered the game under intense pressure.

“We needed a win and now we have a win,” Tuchel said. “It was a very difficult game.”

Tuchel then hit out at suggestions that his side weren’t up to standard despite the win, insisting his team’s togetherness carried them through the match.

“You haven’t seen a very good PSG? Sorry, sorry,” Tuchel said. “I retain the heart, the solidarity. We are in a difficult situation but we can always count on our solidarity. We expect more with PSG. We needed a win and we have a win. It was a challenge to win and we won.”