Neymar scores before ban begins, ends his season (video)

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
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PARIS (AP) Playing likely his final match this season in Ligue 1, Neymar scored and delivered an assist as Paris Saint-Germain beat Angers 2-1 Saturday to shake off its season-end slump.

Neymar put PSG ahead with a diving header in the first half and then set up Angel Di Maria’s goal in the 58th minute. Flavien Tait pulled one back for the hosts from the penalty spot two minutes from time after PSG defender Marquinhos was sent off for grasping forward Wilfried Kanga round the waist.

Neymar was this week given a three-game ban — which starts Monday — for lashing out at a fan following a loss to Rennes on penalties in the French Cup final. The French soccer federation’s disciplinary commission added a suspended two-match ban to its punishment.

PSG and Neymar have announced they will appeal the ban, which rules him out of his team’s last two games this season. The Brazil forward will also miss the Champions Trophy between the French champions and the French Cup winners on Aug. 3 if PSG’s appeal is unsuccessful.

Already crowned champion, PSG had managed just one win in its last seven games in all competitions ahead of Saturday’s trip to western France, and had failed to win its last three matches.

Under a bright sun, Thomas Tuchel’s team did not impress but the result came as a relief.

“We did not play well these past few weeks, it was important to win,” Di Maria said through a translator. “The mindset was better too.”

PSG dominated possession early on but only managed to create half-chances at a pedestrian pace.