Football star substituted during match after burglars broke into his home

Paris Saint-Germain winger Angel Di Maria was substituted during the second half of his team's French league game on Sunday (Monday NZT) amid unconfirmed reports his home had been burgled with his family inside.
On the field, days after the high of knocking out Barcelona in the Champions League, PSG came tumbling back down to reality with a 2-1 home defeat to relegation-threatened Nantes.

Around the hour mark, PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino left the field for a few moments following an earlier discussion with sporting director Leonardo, who was on his cell phone.

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It was unclear why the exchange happened but it coincided with Argentina veteran Di Maria going off.

Pochettino accompanied his countryman Di Maria back to the locker room with his arm around him.

No further details were immediately known.


There was a situation outside of sport itself that youre now aware of, Pochettino said after the game, without mentioning Di Maria by name.

For the players this goes beyond soccer and it should be taken into consideration.

RMC Sport reported that club captain Marquinhos parents were also burgled on Sunday night (Monday NZT), without giving further details.

Defending champion PSG's seventh defeat of the league season left the club three points behind leaders Lille and level with third-place Lyon, who host PSG next Sunday (Monday NZT) and won in Paris earlier this season.

Manu Fernandez/Getty Images
PSG winger Angel Di Maria, pictured here during last years Champions League final, set up their opener against Nantes.

PSG have lost five more games than Lille and four more than Lyon, and would be further adrift if those two sides had not drawn so many games.

A win would have moved PSG ahead of Lille on goal difference.

We missed the chance to go first. We lost points and that's always frustrating and disappointing, Pochettino said.

It's getting more difficult now, but there are still a lot of games left.


Only nine, though, and Nantes felt PSG was there for the taking.

We knew that after every match in the Champions League theres always a chance to win here, Nantes midfielder Abdoulaye Toure said.

It was difficult but we got through it with our mental strength. This should serve us well for the future.

Germany winger Julian Draxler put PSG ahead in the 41st minute with a low shot from Di Maria's deflected pass.

Spark Sport
Tottenham's Eric Lamela scored a wonder goal before seeing red in their North London derby defeat to Arsenal.

But as against Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night (Thursday NZT), PSG's defence was bailed out by Keylor Navas as he made a superb save to deny midfielder Ludovic Blas from close range in the 30th minute.

An awful error from star striker Kylian Mbappe gifted Nantes an equalizer in the 58th minute.

He tried an intricate pass across midfield when under no pressure and instead sent the ball straight to forward Randal Kolo Muani, who skipped past Marquinhos just inside the penalty area and drilled a low shot past Navas.

Nantes, which appeared to have a clear penalty turned down midway through the first half following a video review, took the lead in the 70th minute.


Nigeria forward Moses Simon swept in Muani's cross from the right and the goal was awarded a few minutes later following a video review.

Nantes goalkeeper Alban Lafont kept out a powerful shot from Leandro Paredes in the 81st minute.

The win was particularly sweet for Nantes coach Antoine Kombouare, replaced as PSG coach in December 2011 by Carlo Ancelotti even though his side was three points clear at the top. PSG lost the title that season to Montpellier by three points.

Nantes are in danger of relegation but at least moved up one place to 18th.


AP

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