Lyon hit back at PSG director Leonardo for defending Ibrahimovic over stamp incident
Olympique Lyonnais president Jean Michel Aulas has criticised Leonardo, the Sporting director at Paris St-Germain, for defending PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he stamped on the head of Lyon defender Dejan Lovren.
Leonardo, 43, hit back at suggestions from Lyon that the Swedish striker had deliberately stamped on the Croatian’s head, by saying Aulus should mind his own business.
"He should stop talking about PSG!" Leonardo told L'Equipe.
"The other day he was saying: 'I'd advise them to do this, I'd advise them to do that.' Now he's talking about the intentions of one of our players. He should leave Zlatan alone! It's too easy to point the finger at him."
"All he wants is to create a diversion to take attention away from his team's bad result. We dominated Lyon, especially in the second half - that's the reality.
“Aulas, it seems, just wants to justify the defeat. But do you know what his words suggest to me? An inferiority complex."
However, Aulus has reacted by slamming the Brazilian in a statement released on Lyon’s official club website.
“OL reminds PSG's sporting director that custom and duty requires a club president in France to defend players' honour in general and that of their players in particular
"It is as a president fully aware of his responsibilities that Jean-Michel Aulas talked of the seriousness of the incident, which could have had dramatic consequences for Dejan Lovren.
"With regard to this incident of extreme seriousness, which Leonardo pretends to ignore, just as Zlatan Ibrahimovic had initially ignored Dejan Lovren after walking on him before then apologising, Leonardo will perhaps give more credit to the words of the OL defender, who considers it deliberate, saying Zlatan Ibrahimovic could easily have put his foot down to the side.
"When we see, match after match, the extraordinary ease and grace of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, both with the ball at his feet and in his movements, it suggests he could easily have avoided the player if he had wanted to, even if we can imagine that he didn't deliberately aim for the player's head."