PSG cling on to title hopes as leaders Lille held

Published May 18, 2021
PARIS: Paris St Germain’s Marquinhos (C) attempts a shot on goal during the Ligue 1 match against Stade de Reims at the Parc des Princes.—AFP
PARIS: Paris St Germain’s Marquinhos (C) attempts a shot on goal during the Ligue 1 match against Stade de Reims at the Parc des Princes.—AFP

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

Opinion

Reservations about SNC
Updated 21 Jun 2021

Reservations about SNC

The volume of the subject matter to be covered in an academic year which is usually seven and a half months long is frightening.

Editorial

Poll consensus
Updated 21 Jun 2021

Poll consensus

If the govt is reluctant to take part in an APC on poll reforms, then it must ensure that parliament can be used for this purpose.
21 Jun 2021

Global displacement

THE number of globally displaced persons shared by the UN’s refugee agency in a report released on Friday is...
21 Jun 2021

KP budget

THE KP budget 2021-22 is a sort of please-all document that hands out something to almost everyone in the hope of...
20 Jun 2021

More vaccines needed

THE vaccination rate in the country has slowed in recent days and could result in a crisis if not addressed...
20 Jun 2021

Balochistan protest

THE clashes outside the Balochistan Assembly on budget day were unfortunate. But they had been waiting to happen. ...
Silent victims
Updated 20 Jun 2021

Silent victims

THE deafening silence of political authorities, including leaders from the religious right, on the Mufti Azizur...