PSG thrash Marseille, Saint-Etienne lose in French Ligue 1
Paris, Feb 27 (IANS) Defending champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) remained in the title race with a 5-1 away victory over Marseille, while Saint-Etienne suffered their fourth straight loss after being shocked 0-1 by Caen in the 27th round of the French Ligue 1 football tournament.
PSG maintained their second position with 59 points from 27 matches, three points adrift of league leaders Monaco, while leading Nice on goal difference, reports Xinhua news agency.
The reigning champions took the lead six minutes into the game on Sunday evening, when their Brazilian centre back duo of Thiago Silva and Marquinhos made it a spectacular heading combination, before the latter finished on target.
In the 16th minute, Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani netted his 26th goal of the campaign off Javier Pastore’s pass outside the box, followed by Lucas Moura and Julian Draxler’s goals early in the second half.
After Marseille defender Rod Fanni scored a consolation goal in the 70th minute, Blaise Matuidi steered PSG’s fifth goal into the top corner three minutes later, capping off a scoring frenzy for the defending champions.
Crashing out at the Europa League last 32 with a 0-4 aggregate defeat to Manchester United, Saint-Etienne still could not return to the winning track in the domestic league.
They were one goal down in the 33rd minute against relegation-threatened Caen, as Vincent Bessat’s pass from the left found Rodelin, who headed the ball into the far corner.
Caen nearly doubled their lead in the second half, but Jonathan Delaplace’s shot was denied by the bar.
As Saint-Etienne pressed forward in search of the equaliser, their empty defence was almost taken advantage of by the visitors when substitute Yann Karamoh’s shot was blocked by goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier.
Former Ligue 1 champion Olympique Lyon continued their recent momentum after scoring a total of 11 goals over two legs against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League round of 32.
Memphis Depay, who joined from Manchester United during the winter transfer window, nailed his first brace in the French league before Ivan Balliu’s own goal, Lacazette’s 22nd league goal of the season and Mathieu Valbuena’s strike added to a 5-0 win against FC Metz.
Lyon are currently at the fourth position with 46 points from 26 games, four points ahead of Bordeaux.