Paris stumble against Auxerre

Ligue 1 Conforama


Paris saw their chances of overtaking Lyon into third place and a Champions League qualifying place dealt a blow as they succumbed 2-1 to in-form Auxerre at the Parc des Princes on Saturday night.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

 Paris Saint-Germain / AJ Auxerre : 1 - 2

While Paris have been battling among the top places in recent weeks, looking to secure third place ahead of Lyon, Auxerre have been in stunning form, winning seven of their last nine Ligue 1 matches to climb to eighth place.

After losing to Rennes at the Parc in Week 34, Paris once again struggled at home, failing to impose their game faced with a confident Auxerre side who ran at them fearlessly.

Poland striker Ireneusz Jelen continued his imperious form for Auxerre, running the Paris defence ragged and forcing Zoumana Camara into an error that saw the Paris defender open the scoring - for Auxerre - when he deflected the Pole's shot after the two had battled to take down Thomas Kahlenberg's long pass in the 40th minute.

Five minutes later, Jelen made it 2-0 with his 13th strike of the season and his third in two games. Latching onto a pass from captain Benoît Pedretti, Jelen took the ball to the touch line before turning, beating his man and waiting for Mickaël Landreau to advance before slipping a classy shot past the near post and into the back of the net.

Paul Le Guen brought on France international Ludovic Giuly, recently returned from injury, at the beginning of the second half and while he linked well with Serbian international Mateja Kezman, it was Beninese magician Stéphane Sessegnon who pulled one back for the hosts with seven minutes to go.

Played through by Brazilian defender Marcos Ceara, Sessegnon loaded up and fired from 20 metres out, unleashing a rasping shot that, taking a deflection from defender Jean Pascal Mignot, skidded in past a wrong-footed Olivier Sorin.

Sessegnon came close to salvaging a point for Paris at the death but saw his angled header fly agonisingly past the post.

With Lyon facing title contenders Marseille away on Sunday night, Paris will feel that they missed a gilt-edged chance to pile the pressure on the reigning champions, for whom a third-place finish, and the Champions League qualifying round ticket that goes with it, can be the only consolation in a season that has seen them concede the title for the first time in seven years.

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