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Sunday, May 28, 2023

PSG on Brink of Winning 10th Lique Title

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French champions Paris St Germain (PSG) continued their march towards a record 10th Lique title when goals by Neymar and Kylian Mbappe earned them a 2-1 home victory against Olympique de Marseille on Sunday.

Neymar’s early opener for PSG was cancelled out by Duje Caleta Car before Mbappe’s penalty sealed the win and put PSG on 74 points.

They now lead second-placed Marseille, who had a late equaliser disallowed, by 15 points with six games left and could be crowned champions next weekend.

Jorge Sampaoli’s side have a three-point lead over third-placed Stade Rennais as both teams battle it out for second and direct qualification for the Champions League group stage. The team in third will enter the competition in the third qualifying round.

PSG got off to a lively start and it did not take long for Mauricio Pochettino’s men to take the lead.

Neymar put them ahead after 12 minutes when, latching onto a cross from Marco Verratti, he lobbed keeper Pau Lopez from the penalty spot.

Marseille stayed compact and levelled on 31 minutes as Caleta Car tapped in from a packed goalmouth after Gianluigi Donnarumma missed the ball from a corner.

PSG piled on the pressure but were repeatedly caught by the offside trap, with Lionel Messi denied a goal.

They were, however, rewarded for their domination on the stroke of halftime when they were awarded a penalty after a VAR review showed that the ball had hit Valentin Rongier’s elbow on the edge of the area.

Mbappe buried the spot-kick five minutes into stoppage time for his 21st goal of the Ligue 1 season.

Tempers flared after the break and Neymar protested vehemently after picking up a yellow card for a foul on Matteo Guendouzi and needed a couple of minutes to cool down.

PSG had another goal disallowed in the 75th minute when Mbappe was ruled offside after being set up by Messi.

Marseille celebrated what they thought was an equaliser five minutes from full-time, only for William Saliba’s goal to be ruled out for yet another offside.

Earlier, Nice climbed up one spot to fourth, two points behind Rennes, after Andy Delort’s double gave them a 2-1 home win against Lorient.

Olympique Lyonnais bounced back from their elimination in the quarter-finals of the Europa League against West Ham United by demolishing second-from-bottom Girondins de Bordeaux 6-1 at the Groupama Stadium with doubles by Moussa Dembele and Karl Toko Ekambi.

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