PSG edge closer to Ligue 1 title in treble bid | Football News - Hindustan Times
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PSG edge closer to Ligue 1 title in treble bid

AFP |
Apr 19, 2024 08:00 AM IST

PSG host a resurgent Lyon on Sunday, knowing victory may give them the chance to clinch the title with four games to spare when they visit Lorient on Wednesday.

Paris Saint-Germain could wrap up the Ligue 1 title as early as next week, which would secure the first trophy of what they hope will be a historic treble after their comeback victory over Barcelona in the Champions League. Luis Enrique's men host a resurgent Lyon on Sunday, knowing victory may give them the chance to clinch the title with four games to spare when they visit Lorient on Wednesday.

Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe acknowledges fans.(REUTERS)
Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe acknowledges fans.(REUTERS)

PSG's win against Barca set up a semi-final meeting with Borussia Dortmund as they continue to chase a maiden Champions League triumph, while they will also face Lyon in the French Cup final on May 25.

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Kylian Mbappe, who is set to leave the club at the end of the season, scored twice in the 4-1 second-leg win at Barca on Tuesday and urged his team-mates not to get carried away. "We have to stay focused and to stay on track towards our goal," Mbappe told PSG TV.

"I want to help my team. The truth is, I always want to help the team. We are in a period where every detail counts and it's true that goals help, but not only that.

"I want to contribute on both sides of the field, to try to help the team as much as possible. To give everything and have no regrets."

PSG were on track to win Ligue 1 comfortably last season, but a series of stumbles meant they only secured the title with one match to spare and eventually finished just one point ahead of second-placed Lens. The capital club will be keen to avoid any such slip-ups this term, but will face a tough test against a Lyon side who have been transformed from relegation-threatened strugglers to European challengers under Pierre Sage.

A 4-3 victory over second-placed Brest last weekend moved Lyon within two points of sixth-placed Lens and the Europa Conference League spot. The race for places in next season's Champions League group stage is also nearing an exciting conclusion, with Brest, Monaco and Lille, behind leaders PSG, separated by just four points.

The top three in the French top flight will go straight into the group stage, with the fourth-placed team heading into the qualifying rounds. Brest host Monaco on Sunday, defending a one-point lead over their third-placed opponents.

Lille play Strasbourg earlier that day, with the opportunity to move into third place with a win.

Player to watch: Vitinha (PSG)

The Portugal midfielder has been a key cog for PSG since signing from Porto at the start of last season, but is now also adding goals to his game. The 24-year-old netted in both legs against Barca, including a fine long-range strike in Spain to level the tie, and has four goals in his last five games.

Vitinha's total goal tally is nine in all competitions this season. His previous best in a campaign was four with Porto in 2021-22.

Key stats

106: Ainsley Maitland-Niles' winning penalty for Lyon against Brest last week in the 16th minute of added time was the latest goal scored in Ligue 1 since Opta began collecting stats in 2003.

11: Lyon have won 11 of their last 14 Ligue 1 matches, having managed just one victory in their first 15 league games of the season.

2: Ousmane Dembele scored more goals (two) in PSG's Champions League tie against his former club Barcelona than he has managed in 23 Ligue 1 appearances this season.

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