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This Alves stunner wasn’t enough for PSG to seal Ligue 1 (video)

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Paris Saint-Germain again failed to clinch the French league title after losing 3-2 at Nantes on Wednesday.

PSG could have sealed it this past Sunday and the weekend before that but picked up only one point from those two matches. The defending champion leads second-place Lille by 17 points with six games left and can celebrate at the fourth attempt by beating Monaco at home on Sunday, or if Lille fails to win at Toulouse earlier in the day.

[ UCL RECAPS: Man City-Spurs | Porto-Liverpool ]

It looked like the celebrations were on at Nantes when the veteran fullback Dani Alves put PSG ahead with a superb dipping shot from outside the penalty area. But the defense crumbled again, letting in an equalizer within four minutes, another goal just before halftime and a third shortly after the break to make it 10 goals conceded in three games.

PSG needed only a draw on Sunday to to seal the eighth league title in its history, but lost 5-1 at Lille – the biggest defeat since Qatari investors QSI took charge in 2011. Before that, PSG needed a home win against Strasbourg but drew 2-2.

PSG let in two goals against Lille from set pieces and did so again this time.

Center half Diego Carlos equalized when he headed in a corner from the left.

Then, one minute before halftime, right back Thilo Kehrer was easily knocked off the ball by Kalifa Coulibaly, and unmarked striker Majeed Waris finished at the back post. A corner from the left in the 52nd led to Carlos turning the ball in from close range, even with three PSG players around him.

Nantes, which moved up to 14th place, missed further chances before PSG substitute Metehan Guclu pulled a goal back in the 90th.

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Cardiff to claim Sala’s transfer was invalid, thus fee is void

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Cardiff City will tell FIFA this week that that Emiliano Sala’s transfer from Nantes was invalid at the time of his death, therefore they believe they are exempt from paying the $19-million fee previously agreed by the two sides, according to the Guardian.

Nantes filed a formal complaint with FIFA after Cardiff refused to pay the first installment of more than $6 million last month.

Cardiff claim that at the time of Sala’s tragic death, their soon-to-be record signing was still “subject to international clearance” and that he would not have received said clearance because his contract was rejected by the Premier League.

According to Cardiff, the contract did not comply with rules involving signing bonuses. Cardiff claim that Sala died before a revised contract — one that would have met PL standards — could be agreed.

Nantes released the following statement this week:

“FC Nantes has completed all the required paperwork to complete the Emiliano Sala transfer. Thus, Fifa registered the international transfer certificate on 21st January 2019 at 5.30pm. Nantes is fully compliant with Fifa rules.

“As for Emiliano Sala’s registration in the Premier League, FC Nantes has no information about it. And if it could be a problem for Cardiff, it is not a problem for Nantes.”

Miazga opens up on Sala: “We lined up together in the same shirt”

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USMNT and Chelsea center back Matt Miazga lifted the lid on a tumultuous season which had little do with the on-field part of soccer.

Speaking with Goal.com, Miazga opened up on his truncated loan at Ligue 1 side Nantes, current run at Reading, and the key figures as he tries to earn more Premier League playing time.

[ MORE: Analyzing the UCL draw ]

But he also spoke about the tragic plane accident that claimed the lives of two including his former teammate Emiliano Sala.

Miazga said he prays for Sala and his family, in reflecting on the striker with Goal.com’s Nizaar Kinsella:

“I knew him for six months, we lined up together in the same shirt, fought together, travelled together, ate together, trying to win football matches,” Miazga said. “We spoke French, and he let me practice my French. It is very, very sad. Rest in peace. No one wants to see it happen, especially to someone you know. You would never think it could happen in 2019. A good guy, a good player which was shown by his big-money Premier League transfer.”

It’s tough to read. Losing a co-worker is one thing, but the bonds of sport seem to stitch themselves together a little tighter.

Sala crash report says plane not licensed for commercial use

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LONDON (AP) Air accident investigators say the plane carrying soccer player Emiliano Sala was not licensed for commercial use by authorities.

The initial report from the Air Accident Investigation Branch says investigators have yet to determine if it could be classified as a private flight if costs were being shared, so commercial flight regulations were not applicable.

[ MORE: Match recap | Kepa refuses sub ]

The United States-registered single-engine aircraft crashed into the English Channel while flying last month from the French city of Nantes to Wales, where Sala was preparing to start a new career with Premier League club Cardiff.

Sala’s body was recovered from the seabed wreckage two weeks after the crash but the other person on board – the pilot – is still missing.

The AAIB says “it is thought that the pilot’s license and logbook were lost with the aircraft and so the ratings on his licenses and their validity, and the extent of his recent flying have not yet been determined.”

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Emotional funeral for Sala held in his Argentine hometown

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PROGRESSO, Argentina (AP) Family, friends, supporters and former teammates paid tribute to striker Emiliano Sala in his small Argentine hometown on Saturday, almost four weeks after he died when the plane he was in crashed into the English Channel.

The 28-year-old Sala’s body received a hero’s welcome in Progreso where much of the grieving population paid their last respects to their soccer idol before the body was taken away for cremation.

“It is something that I still cannot understand or accept because it hurts so much,” said Progreso resident Lucia Torres, who was in tears. “My town shut down on Jan. 21 and remains shut down to this day.”

Sala was the best-known figure from Progreso, a town of several thousand inhabitants in Argentina’s Santa Fe province, and was adored by many. He had been known since childhood here as “Emi.”

A post-mortem found that Sala died from injuries to his head and torso when his plane crashed in the channel.

The single-engine aircraft was flying from the French city of Nantes to Cardiff where Sala was due to start a new career playing for the Welsh capital’s Premier League club. Among those in attendance at Saturday’s funeral were Cardiff City’s manager Neil Warnock and his Nantes teammate Nicolas Pallois.

Sala’s body was recovered from the seabed wreckage last week but the plane’s pilot is still missing. Authorities have said that the Air Accidents Investigation Branch investigation could take up to 12 months. A pre-inquest review hearing was set for Nov. 6.

“He is my player, he’s signed for me,” Warnock said of Sala, adding that he’d met with striker’s family. “And then you look around the whole village here. It’s like the whole village is part of it; I’ve never known anything like it. People showed me pictures where he was 4 years of age and then 7 years and I spoke with his teacher.”

Sala’s body was flown to Argentina and arrived in Buenos Aires on Friday before being driven to Progreso, where Sala grew up.