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Lionel Messi and PSG team-mates stuck in car park after surprise defeat as fans clash
04/10/2021 07:59:15

Paris Saint-Germain players have endured a miserable Sunday as they were unable to exit the Rennes Roazhon Park stadium after their two-goal defeat in their Ligue 1 game.

Goals from Rennes duo Gaetan Laborde and Flavien Tait condemned the league leaders to a surprise two-goal defeat in which they failed to register a shot on target throughout.

It was the first time that Lionel Messi had tasted defeat since joining the club from Barcelona this summer, but he and his teammates’ day would get even worse after the match.

There were reported clashes outside the stadium after the encounter which prevented the visiting team from leaving the facilities on time, while reports also suggested a Rennes player had to hide after being caught up in the ugly scenes.

It is the latest in an increasingly long line of unseemly events that have marred the return of fans in French football this season with frequent episodes of violence and clashes between rival supporters.

On Thursday night, the Europa League clash between Marseille and Galatasaray had to be temporarily suspended as rival fans threw flares at each other as riot police had to enter the stands.

The most high-profile incident came on 22 August and also involved Marseille, with their Mediterranean rivals Nice docked one point after the abandonment of their Ligue 1 clash.

Marseille's Payet was struck by a bottle thrown from the home support at Nice’s Allianz Riviera stadium, before fans streamed onto the pitch amid a melee between rival players and staff.

Nice were subsequently ordered to play their next three home matches in Ligue 1 behind closed doors while the game will be replayed next month at a neutral venue, without fans.

Lens - who are currently second in Ligue 1 - have to play home games behind closed doors for an undefined period of time after clashes with supporters of rivals Lille last month.

Previously in the division, Marseille's Valentin Rongier was hit on the head by a bottle thrown from the Montpellier support in their opening day match, causing a 10-minute suspension of the game.

Supporters invaded the pitch and flares were thrown in last week’s Ligue 1 clash between Angers and Marseille, while 16 Bordeaux fans suffered minor injuries after a bus carrying them was pelted with stones on the way to Montpellier.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, France's Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports, told TV station LCI: "Certain clubs managed in the past to put an end to this unacceptable hooliganism.

"There are people who need to be banned from stadiums in future for this behaviour.

"We need to be firm. These people are damaging the image of the sport."

The arrival of Messi at Paris Saint-Germain this season has cranked up the interest levels in Ligue 1 with many fans outside of France now monitoring his progress in the division.

The Argentine superstar has yet to find the net in a domestic match for his new club, although he did open his account for PSG against Manchester City in a 2-0 Champions League win last week.

Messi’s PSG remain top of the standings in Ligue 1 with 24 points from their opening nine matches.

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