Edinson Cavani was yellow-carded last night in Paris after he took off his shirt to reveal a tribute to Chapecoense, the Brazilian club that lost a large part of its squad and support staff, in a plane crash in Colombia.
Cavani scored from the spot in the 66th minute after a foul on Hatem Ben Arfa gave Paris Saint-Germain a penalty. He took off his jersey and revealed a t-shirt underneath with Chapecoense’s logo and the word “Fuerza”, meaning strength. But as much as the gesture was heart-warming, the referee Frank Schneider ensured that the regulations were not flouted and showed Cavani the yellow card.
This was Cavani’s 100th goal for PSG, on his 166th appearance for the club, as he helped the champions to a 2-0 win over Angers. Unai Emery’s men are second in the league, behind Nice, who got back to winning ways with a 1-0 win at Guingamp. Younes Belhanda’s fifth-minute goal helped the leaders in the absence of their talismanic top scorer Mario Balotelli.
The goal drew Cavani level with Dominique Rocheteau as the third top goalscorer in PSG’s history. Zlatan Ibrahimovic with 156 goals and Pedro Pauleta with 109 are the only ones to have scored more goals for the club in their history.
PSG now sit one point behind Nice in second place, two points above third-placed Monaco. The team from the principality missed the chance to draw level with Unai Emery’s side after they drew 1-1 away at Dijon.
Unai Emery’s men are now nine games unbeaten in the league, after they lost 2-0 to Toulouse on September 24th. After a slow start under the new manager, PSG are beginning to look more like the team that won the title by 31 points last season.
The footballing world has been united in showing solidarity with Chapecoense, an unheralded Brazilian side who defied the odds to make it to the final of the Copa Sudamericana. They were travelling to face Atletico Nacional in the first leg of their final, when their plane crashed in Medellin, the second most populous city in Colombia.
In addition to Cavani’s gesture, all the EFL Cup quarterfinals this week held a minute’s silence in memory of the deceased. Liverpool’s Lucas Leiva had requested his manager, Jurgen Klopp, to allow him to wear a black armband, but the manager responded by saying the entire team would.
The Brazilian clubs have also played their part, requesting the federation to exempt Chapecoense from relegation for three years. Palmeiras, the Brazilian champions, have also requested to play one of their home games at Chape’s home ground.
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