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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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OM tells Barton to stop attacks on Silva

Marseille on Wednesday apologized to Paris Saint-Germain and ordered midfielder Joey Barton to end his Twitter attack on Thiago Silva in which he likened the club's Brazilian defender to an "overweight ladyboy."

In a series of tweets published through his official account, the on-loan QPR player questioned whether Silva was "pre-op or post-op" and demanded an explanation why the 28-year-old had mentioned him before last night's Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Barcelona.

Marseille issued a statement on the club's website apologizing for Barton's remarks and promising an immediate end to the episode.

"Olympique de Marseille and Joey Barton are keen to apologise to Thiago Silva and his club for the inappropriate comments made by the English player on social networks during the past 36 hours," the statement read. "This morning, the management asked Joey Barton to put an end to the attack on PSG's Brazilian defender. The Marseille midfielder pledged to immediately cease the posting of anything derogatory about Thiago Silva."

Ligue 1 leader PSG earlier Wednesday expressed its unhappiness with Barton's "unacceptable remarks" and threatened to "take action" against the former England international.

A statement published PSG's website read: "In the last few hours, on social networks, unacceptable remarks have been made by Olympique Marseille player Joey Barton against Paris St Germain player Thiago Silva.

"These attacks are serious and go beyond mere verbal jousting. The directors of the club, the players and the coaching staff are supportive of Thiago Silva and cannot accept such statements.

"They reaffirm their unwavering commitment to the values of respect that should govern our sport.

"Thiago Silva and Paris St Germain reserve the right to take any action they deem necessary."

The series of tweets against Silva began to appear on Barton's account from Tuesday afternoon.

Barton originally tweeted: "Thiago Silva. That the same p---- thats been injured all season. Another over rated Brazilian. Sort your hamstrings out FatBoy..."

The Liverpool native was responding negatively to comments from Silva ahead of Tuesday's game between PSG and Barcelona at the Parc des Princes, which finished 2-2 ahead of next week's second leg at the Nou Camp.

Barton continued tweeting during the game, adding: "Have to take back what I said about Thiago Silva being over rated today. Been immense tonight. Still looks like a overweight ladyboy though!"

This morning he wrote: "2 questions for Thiago Silva. Firstly, Why are YOU talking about ME, in your press conference before PSG v Barca? Very strange.

"Secondly, Are you Pre-Op or Post-Op? #transsexual #thiagosaladyboy.

"Baffles me, which way he's going. Is he a man changing to a woman or a woman changing to a man? Can't work it out."

Speaking to L'Equipe on Monday, Silva said: "There is a Marseille player, I cannot remember his name, an Englishman, who has said bad things about Neymar and Brazilian football, and also about (David) Beckham and (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic.

"Because no one is talking about him, it seems it is fun for him to criticise great players for people to know he exists," he said.

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