winner in Auxerre, PSG protects the title of champion of France

PSG striker Kylian Mbappé in the sprint, May 21, 2023, in Auxerre.

Since we have to act as if, let’s say that Paris Saint-Germain is still not officially champion of France. But after their narrow success, Sunday May 21, on the lawn of Auxerre (2-1), the Parisians have almost recorded the eleventh title in the history of the club.

After the victory of Lens on the lawn of Lorient earlier Sunday (3-1), PSG retains a six-point lead over the Sang et Or, and has a goal difference largely in its favor two days before the end of the championship (+50 against +34). Unless PSG suffers two big defeats against Strasbourg and Clermont and Lens obtains two victories with a shower of goals, a record eleventh title will reward the Parisians for a trying and not always mastered season.

“Obviously I remember the victory, which leaves little hope for Lens, which is having a great season”, said the Parisian coach, Christophe Galtier, after the match, disappointed by the second half of his players. At the bottom of the table, Auxerre is still not saved after this defeat and remains in first non-relegation place (16e34 pts), just ahead of Nantes (17e33 pts).

Express double from Mbappé

This match at the Abbé-Deschamps stadium, which was sold out, was marked by the return of Parisian ultras, on strike for several days. Chants, flags and smoke bombs: around 1,000 Parisian supporters, including 400 members of the Collectif Ultras Paris, were heard throughout the match, a sign of warming up with the club.

In the field and as often this season, Kylian Mbappé put on a show from the start of the match: after a festival of hooks in the Auxerre area, the French striker lodged the ball in the skylight (0-1, 6e). Two minutes later, served by Leo Messi, he worsened the score with his “special”, a curled shot from the right, at the entrance to the surface (0-2, 8e), the earliest double in Ligue 1 since 2012. Two shots, two goals for the Parisians. “On the game, I remember what we did in the first half because it was good football”commented the Parisian coach.

In the second half, Kylian Mbappé could have scored a hat-trick but Radu came out well first (58e), then the Parisian number 7 saw his goal disallowed for an offside position (92e). With 28 goals, Mbappé keeps his first place as top scorer in Ligue 1, still ahead of Lyonnais Alexandre Lacazette, who scored again on Friday (26 goals) and follows him closely.

In Strasbourg for the official coronation

Lionel Messi, best per in the championship (16), who is probably living his last hours in the red and blue jersey, has for his part failed several times in front of the Auxerre goal. Established for the third time in a row alongside Messi and Mbappé, Hugo Ekitike again gave a mixed performance. The former Reims missed in front of goal on a caviar from Mbappé (42e), but also his placements and his duels. He limped out (54e), replaced by the Portuguese midfielder Vitinha to restore some vigor to the Parisian midfield.

Because as too often during this second part of the season, PSG let their opponent revive at the start of the second period. AJA, galvanized by its public and by the many chances of the first half, resurfaced thanks to the first goal of Line Sinayoko on a block (1-2, 51e). Imperial until then, the Parisian goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma let the ball p under his flank. But he proved valuable again after the score was reduced, thanks to several parries.


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Like its midfield, the Parisian defense evolved on a thread, never far from completely ing, under pressure from Burgundy. In particular, it took a save from Danilo Pereira with a header and on his line to avoid sinking (63e). Saturday, in Strasbourg, the Parisians could be champions, for good.

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The World with AFP

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