PSG beat Lille to secure autumn champions crown

Ligue 1 Conforama > Match Reports
09/12/2017

By A. Scott

Paris Saint-Germain got back to winning ways on Saturday, securing the symbolic crown of autumn champions by beating LOSC 3-1 at a bitterly cold Parc des Princes.

 Paris Saint-Germain  3 - 1   LOSC Lille 

THE MATCH

PSG were seeking to bounce back from suffering consecutive defeats for the first time in three years and coach Unai Emery made four changes to the team that went down 3-1 to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League in midweek. Presnel Kimpembe, Yuri Berchiche, Ángel Di María and Javier Pastore all started, with the suspended Neymar Jr one of those to drop out.

Lille travelled to the capital fresh from winning their previous two outings under their interim management team headed by João Sacramento but they offered no threat going forward before falling behind as the half-hour mark approached.

Marco Verratti started the move in midfield, before Kylian Mbappé delivered a cross from the right that was headed home from six yards by Di María for just his second Ligue 1 Conforama goal of the campaign (28').

Mbappé fired into the side-netting soon after following a poor clearance by the Lille goalkeeper Mike Maignan, while an audacious attempt from 45 yards by Pastore floated just over as a single goal separated the sides at the break.

Lille rally late on

Emery sent on Giovani Lo Celso for Adrien Rabiot at the start of the second half and he saw his side extend their lead in the 49th minute. Lille lost possession in their own half, with Edinson Cavani and Di María then combining to set up Pastore, who lashed home from 14 yards. Cue a rendition over the stadium PA system of Allumer Le Feu by Johnny Hallyday, the French rock star who died this week aged 74 and whose funeral procession brought Paris to a standstill earlier on Saturday.

Mbappé hit the post (72') as PSG came close to scoring again. But there was a late comeback of sorts from Lille. It took them until the 78th minute to muster an attempt on goal of note, although substitute Anwar El Ghazi's strike from the edge of the box was comfortably held by Alphonse Aréola. El Ghazi did reduce the arrears, finishing after good play from teenage substitute Boubakary Soumaré, who intercepted a pass on halfway and powered forward (86').

Maignan then came forward for a corner deep in injury time, but there would be no equaliser, and instead Mbappé proifted from the lack of a goalkeeper to run half the length of the field and complete the victory (90+3').

That is now nine Ligue 1 Conforama wins out of nine at home for PSG this season. There would be no third straight defeat in all competitions for the capital club -  the last time that happened was six years ago, and regardless of what happens between now and the winter break, they will top the table going into 2018.

THE PLAYER: Kylian Mbappé
Mbappé was lively throughout, creating the opening goal for Di María and hitting the post in the second half before getting his goal right at the end to wrap up the victory. It was his third goal in as many games, and his sixth league strike of the campaign.

THE STAT: 21
The number of years since Lille last won at the Parc des Princes. PSG are now unbeaten in 19 home meetings with the northern side in the top flight since that last loss in 1996, and in their last 11 encounters home and away with Les Dogues.

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