The Brazilian forward was fired after picking up two yellow cards in the space of two minutes
A furious Neymar was sent off for diving in his first match for Paris Saint-Germain since the World Cup, as the French champions needed a late penalty from Kylian Mbappe to save victory against Strasbourg in the their Ligue 1 meeting on Wednesday evening.
Neymar was cautioned in the 61st minute at the Parc des Princes after catching opposition midfielder Adrien Thomasson in the face with his hand, and just a minute later received his marching orders to dive into the penalty area from Strasbourg.
The Brazilian angrily protested the decision, putting himself in front of referee Clement Turpin. But the dismissal was upheld and PSG were forced to play the rest of the match with ten men.
French broadcaster Canal Plus claimed that Neymar left the Parc des Princes just “minutes” after his expulsion and did not wait for the end of the game.
Neymar had provided the assist for PSG to open the scoring in the 14th minute when compatriot Marquinhos headed in his cross.
But Marquinhos then scored from the wrong side in the 51st minute by deflecting Thomasson’s cross into his own net.
Following Neymar’s sacking – which was his fifth for PSG since joining for a world record 222 million euros ($236 million) in 2017 – it was up to Mbappe to save all three points from the penalty spot .
The French striker converted a kick six minutes into added time in the second half after being knocked down in the box – marking his comeback with a goal ten days after enduring disappointment against France in the Champions League final the World Cup in Qatar.
PSG’s victory extended their lead at the top of the Ligue 1 table to eight points, but they will be without Neymar suspended for the meeting with second-placed Lens on New Year’s Day.
Another absentee for PSG on Sunday will be Lionel Messi, who celebrates Argentina’s World Cup triumph in his homeland.
PSG coach Christophe Galtier said this week that Messi had been granted leave until January 1 and was expected in Paris a day or two after that.
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