Neymar isn’t having a great week. And it appears he is doing his best to not play for Paris Saint-Germain again.
Following PSG’s defeat on penalty kicks to Rennes in the French Cup final on Saturday, Neymar was shown walking up the stairs with his teammates to collect his runners up medal.
A fan then walked towards Neymar and words were exchanged, which resulted in the Brazilian superstar throwing a punch and connecting with the individual. Le Equipe say that the fan has made an official complaint about the punch from Neymar, while it is believed that the fan insulted both Gianluigi Buffon and Neymar.
Below is the incident in question, from two angles, as on Friday Neymar was banned for the opening three games of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League season after being found guilty of verbally abusing officials.
This punch coupled with the ban and his comments that he’d like to play with Eden Hazard all points to one thing: Neymar wants out at PSG.
With injuries keeping him out for a large chunk of last season and this season, it appears Neymar may have played his final game for Les Parisiens.
Paris Saint-Germain, like a lot of good teams, seems to be unbeatable for long stretches before hitting vulnerable patches.
Most of those patches, though, don’t involve losing to a team two leagues beneath you.
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PSG needed extra time to get past FC Villefranche-Beaujolais in the Championnat National, France’s third-tier, posting a 3-0 win Wednesday in the Coupe de France Round of 16 at the Stade Armand Chouffet.
Julian Draxler broke Villefranche’s resolve with a 102nd minute goal, with Moussa Diaby and Edinson Cavani adding markers before the final whistle.
Villefranche did not record a shot on target and was out-attempted 23-6, while Cavani and Kylian Mbappe started the match on the bench.
PSG is also without Neymar for the next two months and lost its unbeaten Ligue 1 mark at the weekend with a 2-1 loss at Lyon. It has a 10-point lead on second-place Lille and two matches-in-hand.
The story in Thursday’s Le Parisien was why only 250 tickets had been sold to sixth-tier side Viry-Chatillon’s hosting of Ligue 1 side Angers in the Coupe de France.
The story on match day was much, much bigger.
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There will not be a rematch in the Coupe de France final, as Angers has been shocked by ES Viry-Chatillon.
It’s okay if you say, “Who?” (The first time, we’re all forgiven). After all, their “achievements” page on Transfermarkt is empty, though Thierry Henry did play there from ages 13-15.
The sixth-tier side from the suburbs of Paris, relegated last season from the Championnat National and boasting a Twitter following of 115, got an early second half goal from 22-year-old Mahamadou Sacko to send the 5,700 seat Stade Henri Longuet into a frenzy.
The tournament has been one of surprises in recent seasons, even at the final stages, where third-tier Les Herbiers became the ninth non-Ligue 1 side to make a final since 1996. That feat was achieved just five times between 1918-1995.
Paris Saint-Germain obliterated SC Bastia 7-0 in a thorough victory that saw Julian Draxler mark his debut with a goal and saw PSG into the Coupe de France quarterfinals.
The 23-year-old German, having just moved from Wolfsburg a week ago, came on in the 42nd minute for an injured Adrian Rabiot and he scored the final of PSG’s goal glut.
Draxler ended as one of seven different goalscorers for the Parisians, who saw Rabiot, Thiago Silva, Christopher Nkunku, Thiago Motta, Lucas Moura, and Angel Di Maria also mark the day with scores. Rabiot’s was especially impressive, a thumper from acres outside the box that caught Bastia goalkeeper Thomas Vincensini napping.
The only negative to the match for PSG was that both Rabiot and Silva went off injured, an unfortunate turn for the Ligue 1 favorites, as they are especially thin at central defense, so a lengthy spell on the sidelines for their captain Silva could be of some concern.
The win was impressive, and sees them head back into league play on a high. PSG will next play a tough league match against 7th placed Stade Rennais on Wednesday. The Parisians sit in third position, five points back of leaders Nice.
The FA Cup final could be the lowest profile match of the “Big 5” domestic cups in Europe.
With the winner of Manchester United and Everton to face whoever emerges from the Crystal Palace and Watford semi, there’s the distinct possibility of an unusual champion in England (The semis are Saturday and Sunday).
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That’s certainly not the case in Germany, where Borussia Dortmund topped Hertha Berlin 3-0 on Wednesday to earn a May 21 final date against mighty Bayern Munich. The two sides have contested three of the last five DFB-Pokal finals, Bayern having won 7 of its record 17 since 2003.
Sochaux and Marseille face off on Thursday for the right to take on Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France final on May 21.
The Coppa Italia will be on the same day and highly-anticipated, as Juventus and AC Milan square off.
In Spain, it will be Barcelona and Sevilla come May 21, but we’ve known that for a while.