Laurent Blanc clears air with David Luiz over PSG substitution
Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has cleared the air with David Luiz after the defender refused to be substituted in Sunday's win over Marseille.
Luiz, 28, stayed down after a challenge in the 76th minute, apparently struggling with a thigh problem, but indicated he wished to continue and then refused to be substituted when Blanc prepared Marquinhos to come on.
The younger Brazilian instead replaced Blaise Matuidi a few minutes later and PSG's final change saw Benjamin Stambouli take the place of Adrien Rabiot. Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Angel Di Maria earned PSG a 2-1 win in "Le Classique'' but the bizarre incident involving Luiz shared the attention.
THE BEST OF ESPN FC
- Bell: Liverpool fans make themselves heard
- Cox: Leicester improving | Why Poch should stay
- Okwonga: Man United's market | City's title hopes
- Laurens: PSG's pre-UCL issues | Hertha's curse
- Highlights (U.S. only): Stuttgart 1-3 BVB
- FC TV: Champions League W2W4 | LVG wrong
- News | Transfer | Toe Poke | Fantasy | FC TV | Podcast | MLS
And Blanc told a news conference: "I talked to him again yesterday [Monday] morning. It was important to make things clear to help our relationship. It lasted a while. I am fairly satisfied with what was said. It was important -- for him, for me and for the squad.''
Luiz has made 23 appearances for the capital club this season, 15 in Ligue 1 as they march unstoppably towards a fourth successive title.
Blanc admitted the defender continues to battle thigh and knee pain but said: "He's an unusual boy, it's rare that he plays without pain. It's normal when we play every three days.''
Matuidi is dealing with a thigh problem while fellow midfielder Marco Verratti will miss Wednesday's Coupe de France tie against Lyon as he continues his recovery from an abdominal injury.
Blanc is optimistic the Italian can soon return, though, along with Javier Pastore -- the Argentinian has struggled with calf issues for much of the season.
"Marco will not be there against Lyon,'' said Blanc. "He is getting better though, it's very good news. He will be able to step up his training tomorrow or Thursday and I hope he will be pain-free.
"[Pastore] always has problems with his calves, the right or the left, but they are short-term problems. He will train tomorrow. Gregory van der Wiel is getting better as well, I hope to have him back soon.''