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French title chase down to wire after PSG move point behind Lille

  • Published at 09:27 am May 17th, 2021
Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar controls the ball during their French L1 football match against Stade de Reims at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on May 16, 2021.AFP

Reigning champions PSG strolled to a simple 4-0 win over 10-man Reims to pile the pressure on Lille, who will nonetheless claim the French title for the first time since 2011 if they win at mid-table Angers next Sunday

Lille's bid to win the Ligue 1 title will go to the final weekend of the season after Sunday's goalless draw with Saint-Etienne allowed Paris Saint-Germain to moved to within a point of the leaders.

Reigning champions PSG strolled to a simple 4-0 win over 10-man Reims to pile the pressure on Lille, who will nonetheless claim the French title for the first time since 2011 if they win at mid-table Angers next Sunday.

Christophe Galtier's Lille hit the post in the final seconds of a frustrating match with little in the way of goalmouth incident.

It was not the display the fans who had gathered to follow the team bus to the Stade Pierre Mauroy ahead of the match expected and will leave those supporters with frayed finger nails next weekend.

"Our start was very sluggish. It was a little better afterwards, but we could not expect much success tonight because we played a very average game," said Galtier.

"We are still ahead. We have a final in Angers that we will have to win if we want to be champions."

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 made it three in the 68th minute with a thumping header from Neymar's corner. Moise Kean rounded off an easy win for PSG one minute from the end.

- Monaco close gap -

Monaco are also still in with a potential shout for the title after their 2-1 home win over Rennes moved Niko Kovac's third-placed side three points behind Lille with one to play.

However the Principality club have an significantly inferior goal difference to both Lille and PSG and would therefore need to win at Lens on the final day and hope both their rivals lose their fixtures.

They hold the final Champions League spot but are looking over their shoulders at Lyon, who are a point further back in fourth following their flamboyant 5-2 win at Nimes, who were relegated following the defeat and wins for both Lorient and Nantes.

Nimes' fight to stay in the top flight looked on when Moussa Kone capitalised on a poor backpass to open the scoring in the fifth minute, but Lucas Paqueta levelled for away side Lyon just three minutes later and from then on it was almost one-way traffic.

Memphis Depay crashed home Lyon's second in the 20th minute and nine minutes later Paqueta had his second with a low strike from the edge of the area.

Paqueta then laid on Houssem Aouar for the fourth nine minutes after the break and although Kone pulled one back for Nimes just after the hour mark Islam Slimani sent them down three minutes from the end.

Nimes are five points behind Nantes, who occupy the relegation play-off position, and six behind Strasbourg, Brest and Lorient who are all aiming to avoid a clash with a team from Ligue 2 to save their place in the top division.

With the top four places sewn up Marseille need just a point to secure fifth place and Europa League football next season after hat-trick hero Arkadiusz Milik fired them to a last-gasp win over Angers.

Poland forward Milik, who is on loan from Napoli, struck the winning penalty in the fifth minute of added time to complete his treble after Remain Thomas had levelled for Angers with only five minutes remaining.

Jorge Sampaoli's Marseille are three points ahead of sixth-placed Lens with a superior goal difference ahead of their final fixture at Metz next weekend.

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