SHARE
COPY LINK
LIGUE 1 ROUND-UP

FOOTBALL

PSG score nine to seal French league title in record time

Just to ram the point home about their superiority in Ligue 1, PSG went and scored nine goals on Sunday as they sealed the title in record time.

PSG score nine to seal French league title in record time
Photo: AFP

French giants Paris Saint-Germain, inspired by four stunning Zlatan Ibrahimovic goals, turned on the style on Sunday to beat Troyes 9-0 and clinch a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 crown in record time.

Just four days after advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals, PSG wrapped up the club's sixth French title with eight games to spare by beating a Troyes side destined for an immediate return to the second tier.

Laurent Blanc's men obliterated the French record for the quickest league victory, currently held by Lyon who won the 2007 title under Gerard Houllier with five games to go.

Unlike last season, when Paris waited until late March to take over top spot, the capital club have set the pace uninterrupted since beating Gazelec Ajaccio 2-0 in their second game of the campaign.

“We've worked well. Everyone is to be congratulated, first of all the players, the coaching staff, the medical team, etc,” said Blanc.

“But the season isn't finished and we're going to have to get ourselves back in competition mode because there are some important dates coming up in April and hopefully May.”

Three goals in six early first-half minutes settled PSG's nerves at Troyes' sun-kissed Stade de l'Aube.

First up was Edinson Cavani, the Uruguyan capitalising on a poor back pass to sneak in to beat goalkeeper Matthieu Dreyer on the second attempt.

Pastore made it 2-0 shortly after, a David Luiz interception played quickly to Ibrahimovic, whose sublime backheel found the Argentinian who toe-poked a looped finish past a despairing Dreyer.

No sooner had the game been restarted than Adrien Rabiot was the welcome recipient for PSG's third after following up on a Cavani shot that rebounded off Dreyer.

It was then time for Ibrahimovic to take centre stage in ten magical minutes.

The towering Swede made it 4-0 just seconds into the second-half after Cavani intercepted another poor clearance, “Ibra” gifted too much space on the edge of the box and making no mistake as he drilled the ball low into the left-hand corner.

Ibrahimovic's second was a gem, a first-time mid-air volley of an inch-perfect Angel di Maria cross as PSG swamped Troyes.

'Ibra' hits century mark

His third – and 100th in Ligue 1 action – was equally sublime, the 34-year-old Swede meeting a Layvin Kurzawa cross at full speed and unleashing a blinding right-footed shot that swerved into the far corner of the net.

Matthieu Saunier compounded Troyes' woes with an own goal, while Lossemy Karaboue saw red for hauling Cavani down in the box with 16 minutes to play.

Dreyer did well to save Cavani's penalty, but the striker tapped in at the second bite.

It was left to Ibrahimovic to wrap up the 9-0 rout, the striker showing great strength to ride a tackle and unleash an unstoppable shot after a Pastore through-ball.

“I'm very lucky to play with good players,” a modest Ibrahimovic said, walking off with the ball wedged under his arm. “The referee gave it to me!”

The Ligue 1 title was the fourth time Blanc has won it as a manager having also guided Bordeaux to the 2008-09 title.

The gulf in class has never been more apparent since Qatar Sports Investments purchased PSG in the summer of 2011, in what has become a landmark moment in French football.

With a budget of close to 500 million euros ($558 million), PSG's financial supremacy has enabled them to spring well clear of the rest of the competition in Ligue 1 and render last year's keenly-contested title race a distant memory.

PSG have set records tumbling this term and surpassed Nantes' 32-game unbeaten run set during the 1994-95 campaign, only for a 2-1 defeat at Lyon last month to end their sequence at 36 matches and with it any hopes of earning the invincibles tag.

But PSG's ambitions go beyond simply retaining the league title, with the club also through to the League Cup final on April 23 and set to face Lorient four days earlier for a place in the French Cup showpiece as they seek to defend last year's historic treble.

However, conquering Europe represents the top priority for PSG, and how they fare next month and beyond will go a long way to determining how successfully their season is portrayed.

Meanwhile, Lyon threw away a two-goal lead at Rennes to draw 2-2 as they missed a chance to close the gap on second-place Monaco.

Lyon led through goals from Rachid Ghezzal and Alexandre Lacazette, but Rennes rallied with Fallou Diagne and on-loan Chelsea teenager Jeremie Boga rescuing a point for the hosts as Lyon stayed in fourth behind Nice.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

FOOTBALL

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.

 

Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.

SHOW COMMENTS