Champions League

Monaco win makes PSG wait for Ligue 1 title

Monaco win makes PSG wait for Ligue 1 title

Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele starred as Paris Saint-Germain won 4-1 at Lorient (DAMIEN MEYER)

Monaco's 1-0 win over Lille on Wednesday left Paris Saint-Germain to wait at least until this weekend before securing yet another French Ligue 1 title.

Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe both scored twice as PSG eased to a 4-1 victory at Lorient earlier, meaning a slip-up by second-placed Monaco in the day's late game would confirm the Qatar-owned club as champions.

However, Youssouf Fofana's second-half strike proved enough to give in-form Monaco their fourth consecutive win as they strengthened their grip on second place.

The principality club are the only team who can still mathematically catch PSG with four games remaining, but the gap is 11 points and will surely not be made up.

Luis Enrique's side will have the chance to guarantee the championship on Saturday with a victory when they entertain relegation-threatened Le Havre.

It will be a record-extending 12th French league championship triumph for the Parisians, and a 10th in the last 12 campaigns going back to the start of the Qatar era which has transformed Ligue 1.

PSG have a potential treble in their sights, with an upcoming Champions League semi-final against Borussia Dortmund and the French Cup final against Lyon next month.

They made short work of relegation-threatened Lorient in Brittany despite making a host of changes, with captain Marquinhos, Achraf Hakimi and Vitinha among the players rested.

"We did our job. We were serious and we got all three points, despite making numerous changes," Luis Enrique said.

"As long as the school year is not finished we cannot get our final grade," he added when asked about the prospect of clinching the title.

"What is happening is exciting. We are close, but we still have a month of the season to go, with other things to accomplish.

"There are seven or eight matches left, and to get to the eighth we will need to remain fully focused," added the Spaniard in reference to the Champions League final at Wembley on June 1.

Dembele gave PSG the lead at the Stade du Moustoir on 19 minutes, collecting a Senny Mayulu pass and coming in from the right flank before sending a shot low into the bottom-left corner.

– Mbappe's 43 goals –

Nuno Mendes then cut the ball back for Mbappe to double their lead midway through the first half.

PSG were looking to extend their unbeaten run in Ligue 1 to 25 games going back to September and their only loss of the campaign so far, at home to Nice.

Lorient, in contrast, were aiming to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat and climb out of the automatic relegation places.

Mbappe produced a brilliant piece of skill to get away from Nathaniel Adjei on the touchline to the left of the box before squaring low for Dembele to tap in the third goal on the hour mark.

That took Dembele's tally for the season to five, after he also netted in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final win against Barcelona.

Lorient pulled one back on 73 minutes when Benjamin Mendy crossed for Ivorian striker Mohamed Bamba to head in.

However, Mbappe completed the scoring for PSG in the 90th minute with a trademark strike across the goalkeeper from the left-hand side of the box.

That took Mbappe to 43 goals for the campaign in all competitions in 43 appearances, with 26 goals coming in Ligue 1.

Monaco's win leaves them five points clear of third-placed Brest and six ahead of Lille in fourth, meaning a return to the Champions League for the first time since 2018/19 is highly likely for Adi Huetter's team.

The top three in Ligue 1 will qualify automatically for the new, expanded Champions League, with the team in fourth entering in the preliminary rounds.

Lille are four points better off than fifth-placed Nice, who drew 2-2 at Marseille in Wednesday's other game.

Terem Moffi gave Nice the lead, but Jonathan Clauss levelled for Marseille who then had Faris Moumbagna sent off at the end of the first half.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then put 10-man Marseille ahead from a penalty for his 26th goal of the season in all competitions.

However, Melvin Bard equalised for Nice, and Marseille are a point adrift of seventh, which could yet be enough to qualify for Europe depending on the outcome of the French Cup final.

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