AP Photo/Francois Mori

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

Leave a comment

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.

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

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

Associated Press
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.

Report: PSG owners exploring possibility of buying Roma

Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Qatari Sports Investments, the group which owns Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, is exploring the possibility of purchasing Serie A club Roma, according to reports out of both Italy and France.

[ MORE: Harry Kane could miss rest of season, says Pochettino ]

Italian publication Corriere dello Sport was first with the news, followed by a confirmation of QSI’s interest by French newspaper L’Equipe.

The former reports that a $450-million bid has already been made, but the latter could not confirm this detail. Current Roma owner, American businessman James Pallotta, has denied that he has received any bid.

UEFA rules, if fully enforced, prevent the same person or persons from being the majority owners of two clubs on the continent. City Football Group, which owns Premier League giants Manchester City, also owns a 44.3 percent stake in La Liga side Girona. With an equal 44.3 percent stake also being held by Girona Football Group, CFG isn’t technically a majority owner.

QSI would likely be forced to create a new business group so as to skirt UEFA’s rules, while presumably bankrolling and operating the club through a very thin layer of separation and deniability.

[ MORE: Lloris, Son give Spurs lead over Man City (video) ]

If the world at-large could see through such a setup, then surely UEFA would be able to do so as well, and they simply would not stand for a scenario which could quite easily call into question the integrity of the world’s most prestigious club competition… right?

Just imagine this: PSG, a club still desperate to win the Champions League (or reach the final, even), is drawn against Roma in the semifinals of the 2021-22 competition. The same people, under different company names, own and operate both clubs. PSG is the global brand of the stable, therefore it takes precedence.

“Let them win, they come first,” QSI Chairman Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaifi says to the Roma manager, Jose Mourinho. What does he do? Deliberately defy his boss, the man who will undoubtedly come down from the stands and fire him at halftime?

On second thought, this sounds entertaining.

VIDEO: Worst miss in history? Choupo-Moting spoils PSG title party

AP
1 Comment

Spare a thought for Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting this Monday morning.

On Sunday, his Paris Saint-Germain side had the chance to clinch the French league title by beating Strasbourg. Thomas Tuchel’s men drew 2-2, but it could have been so different if Choupo-Moting wouldn’t have missed from on the line/cleared the goalbound effort of his own teammate.

Yep, you read that correctly.

[ MORE: Ligue 1 score, schedule

Check out the video below to see the incredible miss from former Stoke City man Choupo-Moting, as the Cameroon star looked stunned at what he had just done.

PSG will win the title soon enough, but anybody who witnessed this miss in the Parc des Princes on Sunday will be talking about it for a very long time. And probably the rest of their lives.

No words.

Report: De Gea saga escalates with PSG willing to meet wage demands

Getty Images
Leave a comment

According to a report by The Independent, French club Paris Saint-Germain could be willing to give the salary Manchester United has been thus far hesitant to offer goalkeeper David De Gea.

The Spaniard’s contract is up next summer, having the option triggered by the club over the winter. He has been in talks with Manchester United the last few months, but his wage demands to this point have seen the Red Devils hold back.

PSG currently has Gianluigi Buffon between the sticks, and according to ESPN just a few days ago, the Italian is preparing to sign a contract extension with the club that would keep him at Parc des Princes through the summer of 2021. While the 41-year-old has performed exceptionally well in league play, he had a hand in the club’s Champions League failure against Manchester United, and it’s feasible that the French giants could look to upgrade and bring in De Gea, who is undoubtedly in the conversation for best goalkeeper in Europe.

The Independent report states it would take an offer of over $450,000 a week – or over $23 million – to match De Gea’s current demands, and PSG is ready to make that leap. Symbolically, De Gea reportedly wishes to be the highest-paid player at Manchester United, meaning he would have to beat the $412,000 a week Alexis Sanchez currently owns, which coincidentally makes Sanchez the highest-paid player in the Premier League. According to Sky Sports, contract talks are ongoing.

From Manchester United’s perspective, they are already paying Sanchez the highest salary in the English top flight, plus Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku each sit in the top five. Should they look to bump De Gea to the number one spot, they would potentially have to offset that cost by selling Sanchez, a move that would not shock many given the Chilean’s poor form and injury troubles this season.

It’s possible that this report has come from De Gea’s camp to put pressure on Manchester United in contract talks. However, losing one of the world’s best goalkeepers on a free transfer after next season would be nothing short of a major embarrassment for Manchester United, or even being forced to sell him this summer at a discounted rate. De Gea has been the Red Devils’ savior in multiple high-profile moments over the past few seasons, racking up awards as he continues to prove himself one of the club’s most valuable on-field assets.