Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Neymar and Di Maria bring up PSG century at Angers

Publish on 11/05/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Neymar Jr scored and Angel Di Maria hit Paris Saint-Germain's 100th Ligue 1 Conforama goal of the season as the newly minted champions won 2-1 at Angers SCO on Saturday.

  Angers SCO 1-2 Paris Saint-Germain

PSG had clinched the club's eighth top-flight title, but one win in their last six league outings, plus the Coupe de France final defeat to Stade Rennais FC, was threatening to take a bit of the shine off their triumph.

The Stade Raymond Kopa seemed the ideal place to put that right as they had won their last seven competitive fixtures against Angers - including a 3-1 victory earlier in the season.

Neymar had scored the last of those goals, this time he got the opener. His understanding with Dani Alves is born of seasons together at Barcelona, in the colours of Brazil and now Paris, and the telepathy worked again as the full-back delivered a cross sent into the net by his compatriot with a diving header (20').

The goal came against the run of play, surprisingly. Flavien Tait (10') had already tested Gianluigi Buffon and then teed up Stéphane Bahoken, who brought an even better save from the veteran Italian (16'), as Angers began smartly.

Vincent Pajot (30') and Edinson Cavani (38') sent headers wide at opposite ends, and Mateo Pavlovic made a solid block on an Alves shot (52') before PSG struck again: Neymar cross, Di Maria header, 2-0 (58').

It is the third time in the club's history they have reached 100 league goals in a season — only three other clubs have ever brought up a ton of strikes in a top-flight campaign, and they have only done that once.

The game still ended on a low note for the visitors. Marquinhos was shown a straight red card for an ill-advised last-ditch challenge on Wilfried Kanga (85'), and Tait reduced Angers' arrears from the penalty that ensued (88') but Thomas Tuchel's men held on.

The good news for PSG — and for Brazil with the Copa America coming up — is that Neymar is in top form. He scored and provided an assist in the same league game for the sixth time this season, one of only five men — including LOSC Lille's Nicolas Pepe and his ex-Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi — to do that in Europe's top five leagues this season.

THE STAT: 1400
Tait's goal was Angers' 1400th in the club's Ligue 1 Conforama history.