PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain came from behind to beat Lille 3-1 in Ligue 1 on Saturday, extending their lead to 11 points as Kylian Mbappe was rested ahead of next week’s Champions League tie against Real Sociedad.
Luis Enrique opted against taking any risks with the league’s top goalscorer Mbappe, who was an unused substitute at the Parc des Princes after suffering an ankle injury in the French Cup win over Brest in midweek. “We didn’t want to take any chances with him. It made no sense,” Luis Enrique told Canal Plus.
“If it had been a final he would have been there. It was smart on both our parts not to make him play.” “He will be there on Wednesday (against Real Sociedad) without any doubt,” the Spaniard added. In the absence of the France captain, who could be entering his final few months at PSG, the hosts fell behind in the sixth minute when Yusuf Yazici turned in after fine work down the right from Tiago Santos.
Ousmane Dembele helped bring PSG level four minutes later by stealing the ball from Lille centre-back Alexsandro and squaring for Goncalo Ramos to stroke into an empty net. Alexsandro was again at fault shortly after as he sliced Fabian Ruiz’s cross into his own goal while attempting to clear, handing the French champions the lead.
Lille goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier kept his team in the game with saves from Marco Asensio, Nordi Mukiele and Randal Kolo Muani, but PSG eventually struck again in the final 10 minutes. Bradley Barcola burst free down the left and slid the ball across goal for Kolo Muani to tap in, completing an encouraging victory before next Wednesday’s visit of La Real in the first leg of their last-16 encounter. — AFP
PSG have been eliminated in the first knockout round in five of the last seven seasons, and it seems certain that this will be their last chance to win the Champions League with Mbappe, who is tipped to join Real Madrid in the summer.
Elye Wahi scored his first goal since November as Lens defeated Strasbourg 3-1 to pick up their third successive win. David Pereira da Costa doubled Lens’ lead after Wahi’s opener before Thomas Delaine pulled a goal back for Strasbourg. Florian Sotoca got the third for the hosts on the hour.
Franck Haise’s side remain sixth but are level on points with Lille and Monaco, while third-placed Brest are only one point above them. Nice, in second, take on Cote d’Azur rivals Monaco on Sunday, while Lyon will look to continue their climb away from the relegation zone when they take on Montpellier. Marseille are without a win in five following Friday’s 1-1 draw at home to Metz, who snapped a seven-match losing run in the top flight. — AFP