Win not enough for PSG
By A. Scott
Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat FC Lorient at the Stade du Moustoir but the win is not enough for them to win the Ligue 1 title.
PSG had to win and hope Auxerre could do them a favour against Montpellier but, on a dramatic evening, the men from the capital fell just short. The excellent Kévin Monnet-Paquet gave Lorient a half-time lead before second-half goals from Javier Pastore and Thiago Motta gave Paris all three points. But while they filled their part of the bargain, there was to be no good news from Burgundy, where Montpellier won 2-1 to take the title. Carlo Ancelotti's side must settle for second place, while Lorient stay up despite this result as defeats for Caen and Dijon saw them go down instead.
PSG travelled to Brittany fresh from three straight wins that had allowed them to retain hope of winning a first championship crown in 18 years but it was never going to be easy for them against a Lorient side who had to win themselves to be absolutely sure of avoiding the drop and who are always tough opponents on their own artificial surface.
Despite ceding most of the possession, Lorient looked the more dangerous of the two sides in the early stages in driving rain. As news filtered through that Montpellier had fallen behind in Auxerre, PSG fans had their hearts in their mouths when Joel Campbell fired a free-kick just wide of Salvatore Sirigu’s left post. And the Bretons went on to take the lead just before the half-hour mark when Lucas Mareque engineered space before curling in a cross to the back post that Monnet-Paquet headed home for his sixth league goal of the campaign.
Paris immediately hit back but Pastore was guilty of squandering two excellent chances, first firing straight at ‘keeper Jérémie Janot after a lucky ricochet off Rémi Mulumba had sent him clear, and then hitting the bar from a Kévin Gameiro cutback.
Play was then halted for several minutes following disturbances among the away support, and the tension had got the better of the visiting players as the game started again. Indeed, Lorient could have doubled their lead just before the interval when a Mathieu Coutadeur free-kick was met by the head of Alaixys Romao, but Sirigu came to the rescue with a fine save.
Unhappy with his side’s first-half display, Ancelotti replaced Gameiro with Guillaume Hoarau at the restart, and the big striker almost equalised in the 56th minute, controlling a cross from the right before turning away from Grégory Bourillon only for his shot to hit the outside of the post from six yards.
PSG hit back
With Monnet-Paquet and Joel Campbell in lively mood, Lorient continued to look dangerous, but PSG finally hit back just after the hour when Pastore stabbed home from close range after his initial attempt from Christophe Jallet’s cross had hit the post. It was the Argentine’s 13th league goal of the campaign.
Motta then won it with quarter of an hour remaining, heading in a Nenê corner to put Paris in front for the first time on the night. The visitors held on to win the game, before discovering that their efforts were not enough to pip Montpellier at the post.