May 17, 2021 9:06:05 am
Paris Saint-Germain routed Reims 4-0 to take the French title race to the last day, as Lille drew 0-0 at home to Saint-Etienne on Sunday for a one-point lead at the top.
Both teams are away next weekend, with PSG at Brest and Lille facing Angers.
“We’re first and we have to win the last game,” Lille captain Jose Fonte said. “We usually get good results away from home.”
PSG coasted after Reims had defender Yunis Abdelhamid sent off in the 11th minute for a handball, and Neymar converted the penalty with a staggered run-up followed by a typically casual shot which sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.
Kylian Mbappe doubled the lead midway through the first half after a mistake from defender Thomas Foket, who sent the ball in his own penalty area straight to Mbappe for a league-leading 26th goal and 40th overall this season.
Central defender Marquinhos scored with a trademark downward header midway through the second half and Italy striker Moise Kean completed the scoring in the last minute.
Lille struggled to break down an organized Saint-Etienne side but came close to scoring in the 36th when Luiz Araujo’s shot sailed just wide after he latched onto striker Burak Yilmaz’s astute pass.
Lille almost won during injury time but attacking midfielder Yusuf Yazici’s free kick hit the post and Yilmaz’s shot from the rebound was blocked by a defender.
“Once more I didn’t recognize my team at home. The way we started was very sluggish,” Lille coach Christophe Galtier said. “It was better after that, but we couldn’t expect much luck since we played a very average game. It’s a final in Angers and we’ll have to win it to be champions.”
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CHASE
Monaco won to narrowly keep its title hopes alive, but it needs to win at Lens in the last round and hope Lille and PSG both lose to stand any chance of clinching the trophy on goal difference from Lille.
More realistically, Monaco is one point ahead of Lyon, with both sides in the hunt for third place and the Champions League qualifying rounds.
Monaco beat seventh-place Rennes 2-1 with Russia midfielder Aleksandr Golovin setting up striker Wissam Ben Yedder’s 21st league goal of the campaign and adding the second goal with a slightly deflected strike.
Brazil midfielder Lucas Paqueta grabbed two goals and star forward Memphis Depay one as Lyon coasted to a 5-2 win at 19th-place Nimes, which was relegated by the defeat.
Midfielder Houssem Aouar added the fourth following a fine team move and substitute forward Islam Slimani headed in the fifth from close range for Lyon.
EUROPA LEAGUE PUSH
Marseille moved into pole position for fifth and a Europa League berth by beating Angers 3-2, but only after the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to 2-2.
Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik then netted an injury-time penalty to complete a hat trick and take his tally to nine in 15 games since joining on loan from Napoli.
Marseille is three points ahead of sixth-place Lens, which lost 3-0 at Bordeaux.
BASEMENT BATTLE CONTINUES
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 is level on points with 16th-place Brest, which may need a result against PSG next weekend, and 15th-place Strasbourg with the sides only apart on goal difference.
“We’re up against PSG,” Brest coach Olivier Dall’Oglio said. “It’s not the best scenario but we’ll approach it boldly.“
Imposing striker Ludovic Ajorque scored both goals in Strasbourg’s 2-0 win at Nice.
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