Emery wants stars to get better protection from refs

Paris Saint-Germain coach Unai Emery has called for referees to better protect marquee players after Brazilian superstar Neymar was sent off in a 2-2 draw with Marseille yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Neymar was not only constantly harried and niggled by a series of fouls, but while taking corners, he also pelted by coins and even lighters from fans at the Stade Velodrome.

He eventually lost his cool and was sent off for two yellow cards late on, both for retaliation with him appearing to aim a headbutt at Marseille's Argentine striker Lucas Ocampos.

"We are a bit disappointed by the sending-off because he was fouled a great deal during the game," said Emery. "He suffered four serious fouls from our opponents which continued and continued and continued."

Neymar had been excellent for PSG, scoring a cool-headed equaliser and looking every inch a big-game player until his rush of blood to the head and the red card with his side 2-1 down in the 88th minute.

Edinson Cavani then came to the rescue with an injury-time equaliser for PSG, who remain top of Ligue 1.

"I believe the referee should have had a good think about it. We need to protect the great players," said Emery. "Those yellow cards were not fair on Neymar. He hasn't been battered here, but if he gets that treatment every game..." - AFP

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