PARIS: Paris St Germain clung on to their hopes of winning a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title with a 4-0 home win against 10-man Stade de Reims as Lille’s lead was cut to a single point with one game remaining on Sunday.
As PSG cruised to a routine victory, Lille, who have 80 points, were held to a goalless draw by mid-table St Etienne and now need a win at Angers in the final round to guarantee them a first title since 2011.
Monaco stayed third on 77 points, one win away from guaranteeing a Champions League spot, as goals by Wissam Ben Yedder and Aleksandr Golovin earned them a 2-1 home victory against Stade Rennais.
They lead fourth-placed Olympique Lyonnais, in the first of two Europa League spots, by one point after Rudi Garcia’s team secured a 5-2 win at Nimes thanks to a double by Lucas Paqueta and goals by Memphis Depay, Houssem Aouar and Islam Slimani.
Second-from-bottom Nimes were relegated to Ligue 2.
Six teams — Reims, Bordeaux, Racing Strasbourg, Brest, Lorient and Nantes — are separated by two points and will battle to avoid finishing 18th, which would mean taking part in a relegation playoff.
Olympique Marseille, on 59 points, occupy the other Europa League spot in fifth place as Arkadiusz Milik’s hat-trick gave them a 3-2 win against Angers, while RC Lens (56) are sixth following a 3-0 loss at Girondins de Bordeaux.
Lille lacked inspiration against a sturdy St Etienne side and missed out on securing a victory that would have allowed them to head into the final round needing only a draw when Yusuf Yazici’s free kick crashed onto the far post in the last minute.
PSG meanwhile were gifted a perfect start at the Parc des Princes when Yunis Abdelhamid handled Kylian Mbappe’s shot in front of an empty goal, conceding a penalty and being sent off in the process.
Neymar slotted home the spot-kick in the 13th minute and 11 minutes later Mbappe pounced on a wayward pass across the area by Thomas Foket to tap home the second.
Marquinhos added a third with a downward header on 68 minutes and Moise Kean netted a fourth from just inside the box.
Nantes won 4-0 at last-place Dijon for a fourth straight win but remained 18th and in the relegation-playoff position because Lorient won 2-1 at home to Metz to stay 17th.
Lorient are level on points with 16th-place Brest and 15th-place Strasbourg with the sides only apart on goal difference. Imposing striker Ludovic Ajorque scored both goals in Strasbourg’s 2-0 win at Nice.
Published in Dawn, May 18th, 2021