07 May 2022 | 08:21 | Football
A Kylian Mbappe penalty proved decisive as Paris Saint-Germain beat nasty rivals Marseille 2-1 on Sunday, meaning they could claim the Ligue 1 title this week.
Mbappe switched from position in first-half injury time after the referee awarded a penalty for using his hand to check VAR, restoring PSG’s lead after Neymar’s early opener and goal. Duje Caleta-Car’s equalizer.
PSG are 15 points behind second-placed Marseille with six games remaining and Mauricio Pochettino’s side – who also have a much higher goal difference – are ready to reclaim the trophy they left to Lille last season. .
If Marseille do not beat Nantes on Wednesday, then PSG could win their eighth Ligue 1 title in 10 seasons if they get a better result against Angers in the same match.
Despite the obviously high stakes for the biggest match of French football, there is a distinctly calm atmosphere at the Parc des Princes.
Authorities banned Marseille fans from participating in the match over fears of possible violence, which has recurred in France in recent months.
Meanwhile, the ‘ultras’ of PSG, the members who are most vocal in their support, have decided to remain silent until the end of the season to protest against the management of the club and as a result in a campaign approved marked by leaving the Champions League into the round of 16 against Real Madrid. .
Whatever the case, a record 10th French championship in their history has never really been a questionable thing for PSG, even before they had their current three-match winning streak, in which Neymar and Mbappe each scored 6 goals.
“We always like to see our supporters channel their energy and turn it into a spectacle,” admitted Pochettino.
“In recent matches since we were knocked out of the Champions League, the fans have expressed anger and frustration, and they are free to express their displeasure.
“The club’s position to win its 10th league title is a big deal and it’s a shame that we can’t all share that happiness.”
Neymar gave PSG the lead in the 12th minute, when Marco Verratti passed the ball forward and goalkeeper Pau Lopez was saved.
Marseille equalized after just half an hour when Gianluigi Donnarumma handled a corner, allowing Caleta-Car to head into the home team’s net.
Lopez saved a Neymar free kick and Messi had two goals disallowed for offside before PSG were awarded a penalty in first-half stoppage time.
Valentin Rongier blocked a shot with his thigh, the ball went up and hit his elbow, a violation discovered by the referee after he was called to supervise the sideline.
Mbappe’s successful penalty was his 21st Ligue 1 goal this season and 32nd in all competitions.
The French star had an effort disallowed for offside in the second half.
Marseille then thought they had won a point when William Saliba turned around for a late Dimitri Payet free-kick.
However, that effort was also disallowed, and PSG held out.
Despite seeing their eight-match winning streak come to an end, Marseille still automatically entered the Champions League when they were three points ahead of third-placed Rennes.
Nice are on two more points in fourth after Andy Delort’s late header made it 2-1 to Lorient.
Ambitious Nice, owned by British group Ineos, have gone four games without a win to be knocked out of the European qualifiers ahead of this encounter.
Only the top two French teams automatically qualify for the Champions League, with the third advancing to qualifying and the fourth into the Europa League.
Elsewhere, Lyon bounced back from midweek Europa League elimination against West Ham United to crush Bordeaux 6-1, four points ahead of their opponents.
Moussa Dembele and Karl Toko-Ekambi both scored twice and Lyon scored their biggest win of the season as they looked to salvage a European spot from a disappointing campaign.
They finished eighth, four points ahead of fifth-placed Strasbourg, who drew 1-1 with Troyes.
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