Neymar was sent off for diving before storming out of the Parc des Princes as he made a humiliating return to Paris Saint-Germain.
The attacker had starred for Brazil at the World Cup, though they were surprisingly knocked out in the quarter-finals by Croatia. After a period of time off, he returned to France and was available for their first Ligue 1 game back against Strasbourg on Wednesday.
His return to action started well as he provided the assist for Marquinhos to open the scoring. But after the defender scored an own goal to see the visitors equalise in the second half, things turned disastrously wrong for the superstar.
Just after the hour mark, he was booked by referee Clement Turpin for committing a foul. Seconds later, he was shown a second yellow card by Turpin for attempting to win a penalty with a particularly obvious dive.
Kylian Mbappe played the ball into the box down the left, with Neymar running through the defence to get on the end of the pass. As defender Alexander Djiku came across to tackle him, Neymar touched the ball forward.
Djiku had stopped his run before touching either the ball or Neymar, but the PSG star still threw himself to the ground. Turpin immediately blew up for a free-kick to Strasbourg and showed Neymar a second yellow then a red card.
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Neymar stood in disbelief before joining Mbappe, Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos and Hugo Ekitike in surrounding Turpin to protest his decision to award a free-kick to Strasbourg, rather than a penalty to PSG.
Turpin stuck by his original decision though and Neymar trudged off the pitch as a result. Though he admitted Neymar was right to be penalised for diving, PSG boss Christophe Galtier insisted that he understood the Brazilian’s frustration.
“Neymar alternated the game between ups and downs. I can understand that there is anger in him, he really wanted to play the next two games. As much as I can understand the simulation, he deserves the yellow,” Galtier said.
“A few minutes before he suffers a bad foul and his first yellow is very severe compared to the number of fouls suffered by Ney. Strasbourg is a team that plays well, but also gives off a lot of strength and power. There was a lot of impact in this match.
“I regret that the excess of commitment was not sanctioned more harshly for certain players. It could have generated a little frustration for Ney.”
Galtier also revealed that Neymar had left the stadium before the game ended. He told Canal Sport: “Neymar left the stadium before the end of the match. You have to understand his frustration. He needed to vent his anger.”
Galtier’s side struggled after going down to 10 men, with Strasbourg appearing to be heading towards an impressive draw. But Mbappe struck from the penalty spot six minutes into added time after he was brought down by Gerzino Nyamsi.
It was the fifth time Neymar has been sent off since he arrived at PSG in a world-record move in 2017. He will now miss PSG’s trip to title rivals Lens on Sunday.
Source:Story by Jacob Leeks,The Mirror