PSG coach Unai Emery has defended Marco Verratti after his controversial goal in the 5-0 win over Bastia on Saturday.
PSG were leading bottom-club Bastia 1-0 thanks to Lucas Moura’s goal when controversy struck in the 35th minute.
Blaise Matuidi had gone down injured and Bastia keeper Jean-Louis Leca was checking on him when Verratti picked up the ball 30 yards out.
With Leca still out of position Verratti then hammered a 30-yard strike into the net past the helpess keeper.
— Kev Maxi ?? (@FussballKevMaxi) May 6, 2017
To make matters worse PSG’s Julian Draxler was standing in front of Leca in an offside position and was obviously interfering with play.
Leca was furious that the goal was allowed to stand and was yellow carded for his protestations.
The win was crucial for PSG as it helped them keep the pace with leaders Monaco, while Bastia remained rock bottom, still two points from potential safety.
Yet, after the game Emery tried to defend Verratti, saying, “It’s difficult.”
“We wanted to play with intensity, it is true that Blaise remains on the pitch but as it is his team-mate [Verratti], he continues to play,” he added.
“He does not look how he is [positioned in relation to] the goalkeeper who, it is true, goes to see Blaise but later returns to the goal.
“I think that the spirit of fair play is not lost.”
Quite a few people online failed to agree with Emery.
@mohammedali_93 I agree that Verratti isn't fair play on this goal. However the whistle is the only thing that can stop the game…
— Auri (@ARetailleau) May 6, 2017
Marco Verratti's goal for PSG v Bastia was both brilliant & well out of order (video)
— Dwayne Bouchard (@ragelar) May 7, 2017
Anyone notice Matuidi got right up when Verratti scored his goal? ??
— ? ? ? (@PSGIsLife) May 6, 2017
Although others had no sympathy for Bastia after their fans racially abused Mario Balotelli earlier in the season.
Verratti's goal was a huge case of bad sportsmanship but it was against Bastia… Club of racists so he gets a pass. Winning mentality
— Bailey (@DivockIsCooking) May 6, 2017
What do you think?