Associated Press

PSG fails to wrap up Ligue 1 title after 5-1 humiliation by Lille

Leave a comment

Paris Saint-Germain came to Stade Pierre Mauroy on Sunday with a chance to seal the Ligue 1 title in dominating fashion. They left with nothing but a humiliating 90 minutes to show for the trip.

The French giants went behind just seven minutes in, and slumped to a humiliating 5-1 defeat by second-placed Lille, PSG’s biggest league defeat in 10 years. In addition to the loss, PSG also saw oft-injured Thiago Silva leave injured after just 16 minutes, while Thomas Meunier also departed injured just eight minutes later.

Things got started in the seventh minute as Meunier looked to cut out a cross from Jonathan Ikone, but instead stuck his foot out and poked the ball into the back of his own net under little pressure. Juan Bernat equalized four minutes later to bring PSG back level as he tapped in at the far post after receiving a deep cross from Kylian Mbappe. Bernat, however, was sent off just past the half-hour mark as he tugged on Nicolas Pepe on a breakaway, leaving referee Benoit Bastien to show Bernat the red card for soft a last-man foul.

After halftime, playing a man down, PSG absolutely caved. Pepe put Lille up again in the 51st minute on a breakaway with a shot through the legs of Alphonse Areola, and it was all hosts from there. Jonathan Bamba, Gabriel, and Jose Fonte all found the scoresheet after the hour mark, and the rout was on. Bamba’s goal was the most embarrassing for the PSG back line as he simply out-paced the defenders before beating Areola at his near post in a performance to forget from the PSG goalkeeper. Presnel Kimpembe and Thilo Kehrer provided little to no resistance on Gabriel’s 71st minute header, while Fonte completed the heavy scoreline with a header of his own as Kimpembe was again beat in the air.

PSG still needs just one victory to wrap up the Ligue 1 title, still owning a massive 17-point lead, but they have dropped points in each of their last two league games and are limping to the finish line, still with a Coupe de France final against Stade Rennais to come on April 27.

Franck Ribery signs for Fiorentina

Fiorentina/Twitter
Leave a comment

Franck Ribery has signed for Fiorentina in Serie A.

The French winger, 36, left Bayern Munich when his contract expired over the summer and many thought he may retire after a long list of injuries.

However, the tricky wideman has arrived in Italy after 12 seasons at Bayern which saw him win 23 major trophies, including the UEFA Champions League in 2013.

As for Fiorentina, this is a huge deal for them as Ribery will be unveiled in a press conference tomorrow.

The Florence club have slumped in recent seasons and barely avoided relegation from Serie A in 2018-19, and that came after six consecutive top eight finishes in Italy’s top-flight.

U.S. businessman Rocco Commisso bought the club for $181 million this summer and is promising to steadily rebuild the squad under Vincenzo Montella, who had a glorious spell in charge from 2012-15.

Adding Ribery means they have a big name on board, but can he stay fit and help this new-look side push up the Serie A table? Fiorentina have made 13 new signings this summer and a huge overhaul was needed.

If Ribery can stay fit and fresh, he showed at Bayern last season that he still has a little left in the tank.

First Leagues Cup will be an all-Liga MX affair

Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images
1 Comment

Given Major League Soccer’s record against Liga MX sides when both teams are bringing their best players to the party, it’s no surprise that the former has been left out of the Leagues Cup Final.

Instead, Cruz Azul and Tigres UANL will meet on Sept. 18 for the first ever crown in the history of the competition pitting teams from Mexico, Canada, and the United States top flights.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

Choosing not to play Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jonathan Dos Santos, and Carlos Pavon amongst others, the LA Galaxy fell 2-1 to Cruz Azul in Carson, California, getting an Emil Cuello goal but allowing the below delightful winner from Orbelin Pineda just after halftime.

The Galaxy were in the midst of a nasty four-match fortnight, and opted for this match — a tournament semifinal against a league which has bossed its league — to rest their men. Not a choice we love, but a fair choice given the Galaxy’s mere 4-point advantage on 7th place in the West.

Tigres needed penalties to get past Club America in an absolutely bonkers semifinal.

The match was level at 2 after regulation, with two own goals, a penalty, and a 90th minute red card doled out to Tigres’ Roger Martinez.

The second Tigres own goal, which came before the club outlasted America 5-3 in penalties, came deep in stoppage.

USWNT lawsuit goes to trial May 5

Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LOS ANGELES (AP) A judge has set a May 5 trial date for the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the women’s national team against U.S. Soccer.

District Judge R. Gary Klausner assigned the date at a hearing Monday in Los Angeles, which came less than a week after mediation between the two sides broke down.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

The players sued U.S. Soccer in March, alleging institutionalized gender discrimination that includes inequitable compensation when compared with their counterparts on the men’s national team.

The federation claims that compensation for each team is the result of separate collective bargaining agreements, and that the pay structures are different as a result.

The sides had agreed to mediate the dispute after this summer’s World Cup in France. The U.S. beat the Netherlands in July for its second straight title, and fourth overall.

The players and U.S. Soccer had requested a trial date after the Tokyo Olympics, which start July 25.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Report: Zappacosta off to Roma as Chelsea trusts youth

Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tuesday was a great day to be Reece James.

Not that it hasn’t been a good summer altogether with Frank Lampard in charge of Chelsea.

[ MORE: Predicting the USMNT September call-ups ]

Lampard sanctioned the loan of Zappacosta to AS Roma, which puts James firmly in line for first team reps at Stamford Bridge.

The 19-year-old James has earned his place after two seasons on loan at Wigan Athletic, and Cesar Azpilicueta will either need rest or time at center back at some point.

As for Zappacosta, he was a curiosity buy who was serviceable during his time at Stamford Bridge. At Roma, though, he’ll… also be second choice to club captain Alessandro Florenzi.

Lampard is definitely giving the Blues’ youth a chance to shine during this transfer ban, and this may well be the best opportunity of James’ career.