Sports

PSG on brink of French title after beating Marseille


Kylian Mbappe PSG

Paris Saint-Germain’s French ahead Kylian Mbappe celebrates his purpose throughout the French L1 soccer match between Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) and Olympique Marseille (OM) at The Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on April 17, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP)

A Kylian Mbappe penalty proved decisive as Paris Saint-Germain beat bitter rivals Marseille 2-1 on Sunday, that means they might clinch the Ligue 1 title this week.

Mbappe transformed from the spot in first-half stoppage time after the referee awarded a penalty for handball on a VAR evaluation, restoring PSG’s lead following Neymar’s early opener and a Duje Caleta-Car equalizer.

PSG are 15 factors away from second-placed Marseille with six video games remaining and Mauricio Pochettino’s aspect — who even have a far superior purpose distinction — stand poised to reclaim the trophy they relinquished to Lille final season.

If Marseille fails to beat Nantes on Wednesday then PSG can clinch their eighth Ligue 1 title in 10 seasons if they’ve a greater consequence towards Angers on the similar time.

Despite the apparently excessive stakes for the most important fixture in French soccer, there was a distinctly flat ambiance on the Parc des Princes.

Authorities banned Marseille followers from the sport over issues of doable violence, a recurring them in France in latest months.

Meanwhile, PSG ‘ultras’, probably the most vocal members of their help, have determined to remain silent till the top of the season in protest on the membership’s administration and at leads to a marketing campaign marked by the Champions League last-16 exit to Real Madrid.

In any case, a record-equalling tenth French championship of their historical past has by no means actually been unsure for PSG, even earlier than their present run of three straight wins during which Neymar and Mbappe have every scored six occasions.

Fans not blissful

“We always want to see our supporters transmit their energy and make it a spectacle,” admitted Pochettino.

“In latest video games since we went out of the Champions League the followers have expressed their anger and disappointment, and they’re free to indicate that they’re sad.

“That the club is in a position to win the 10th league title in its history is a big thing and it is a shame that we can’t all share that happiness together.”

Neymar gave PSG a Twelfth-minute lead, assembly a flighted ball ahead by Marco Verratti and lobbing stranded goalkeeper Pau Lopez.

Marseille drew degree simply after the half-hour as Gianluigi Donnarumma made a large number of coping with a nook, permitting Caleta-Car to prod dwelling on the road.

Lopez saved a Neymar free-kick and Messi had two objectives disallowed for offside earlier than PSG had been awarded the penalty deep in first-half stoppage time.

Valentin Rongier blocked a shot along with his thigh, the ball ricocheting up and placing his elbow, an infringement noticed by the referee after he was invited over to the pitchside monitor.

Mbappe’s profitable penalty was his twenty first Ligue 1 purpose this season and thirty second in all competitions.

The France star had one other effort disallowed for offside within the second half.

Marseille then thought that they had snatched some extent when William Saliba turned in Dimitri Payet’s late free-kick.

Yet that effort was additionally disallowed, and PSG held on.

Nice revive Champions League hopes

Despite seeing their eight-game profitable run come to an finish, Marseille stays on the right track to qualify routinely for the Champions League as they sit three factors away from third-placed Rennes.

Nice is one other two factors again in fourth after Andy Delort’s late header secured a 2-1 win over Lorient.

Ambitious Nice, owned by British group Ineos, had gone 4 video games and not using a win to drop out of the European qualifying spots earlier than this encounter.

Only the highest two in France qualify routinely for the Champions League, with third going into the qualifying rounds and fourth into the Europa League.

Elsewhere Lyon bounced again from their midweek Europa League elimination towards West Ham United to crush Bordeaux 6-1, leaving their opponents 4 factors from outright security.

Moussa Dembele and Karl Toko-Ekambi each scored twice and Lyon recorded their largest win of the season as they search to salvage European qualification from a disappointing marketing campaign.

They are eighth, 4 factors adrift of fifth-placed Strasbourg, who drew 1-1 at Troyes.

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