PSG clinch Ligue 1 title after beating Olympique Lyonnais
Paris: Paris Saint-Germain are Ligue 1 champions after beating Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 at Stade Gerland on Sunday.
Jeremy Menez struck early in the second half to separate the sides in an encounter that the visitors edged without ever looking particularly comfortable against a vibrant young Lyon side who have yet to secure their place in the Champions League next season.
The opening period had been evenly balanced but PSG struck early in the second half. Thiago Motta won possession high up the field before exchanging passes with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and sliding Menez in to drill low under Anthony Lopes in the Lyon goal.
Late in the game, there was a moment of great controversy as Thiago Motta seemed to handle in his own box yet referee Stephane Lannoy rejected the hosts’ vehement appeals for a penalty, prompting an angry end to the match.
Although Ibrahimovic had gone closest in the early stages of the game, having a volley turned off the line after the young home custodian had failed to collect a corner, it was Lyon who had made the more vibrant start to the match, dominating the opening 15 minutes but failing to really exert Nicolas Douchez.
Eighteen-year-old Yassine Benzia went closest for Remi Garde’s men but his awkward long-range drive was kicked clear.
With the early storm weathered, PSG started to offer a threat of their own, most notably through Menez. The former Roma player mustered a low strike on goal but Lopes got his body firmly behind the effort and this typified the nature of the visitors’ efforts in the opening period.
Seven minutes into the second period Menez drew another block from Lopes before the attacker drove PSG into the lead moments later after Thiago Motta had caught Maxime Gonalons napping in the centre of the pitch.
In the main, Ancelotti’s men managed the remainder of the match well. Lyon’s threat was muted, with Benzia hitting into the side netting, while a Javier Pastore flick at the opposite end of the field drew a smart block from Lopes.
The closing stages, though, were fraught. The handball incident in the box seemed to only increase the nerves in the Parisians’ ranks but they nearly had the last word as Menez had another chance parried away in stoppage time.
Seven points clear of second-placed Olympique de Marseille with only two rounds of action remaining, PSG now have an unassailable lead in Ligue 1 and will the crown for the first time in close to two decades. Lyon, meanwhile, have an anxious couple of weeks ahead as they try to secure Champions League football next term.
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