April 16, 2018 / 7:25 AM / 3 months ago

Paris St Germain thrash AS Monaco to clinch Ligue 1 title

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris St Germain claimed their seventh Ligue 1 title in emphatic style with a 7-1 home win against defending champion AS Monaco on Sunday.

Paris Saint-Germain players celebrate after the match after winning Ligue 1.   REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PSG, who netted four goals in the opening half-hour, have 87 points with five games remaining and lead second-placed Monaco by 17 points after doubles by Giovani Lo Celso and Angel Di Maria, goals by Edison Cavani and Julian Draxler and a Radamel Falcao own goal.

Monaco, who could only reply through Rony Lopes, are now threatened by third-placed Olympique Lyonnais and fourth-placed Olympique de Marseille who are four points behind them after wins at the weekend.

Playing at the Parc des Princes against the team who denied them the title last year was the perfect occasion for PSG, owned by big-spenders Qatar Sports Investments since 2011, to wrap up their fifth title in the Qatari era.

They joined Lyon in fifth place in the rankings of the clubs with the most French titles — three behind record holders St Etienne.

“The team maintained the pressure throughout the game,” said coach Unai Emery, who failed to take PSG past the last 16 in the Champions League this season.

“Our great goal is the Champions League; it’s not easy but we’re going to work hard for it.”

“It is possibly my worst defeat as a coach,” said Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim.

Kylian Mbappe sat on the bench as Emery, whose contract is unlikely to be renewed at the end of the season, gave Javier Pastore a rare start.

Monaco, who were humbled 3-0 by PSG in the League Cup final, got off to a good start but the home side had the first clear chance in the 10th minute when Cavani volleyed just wide from Dani Alves’s cross.

In the space of seven minutes, PSG took a three-goal lead.

Lo Celso tapped in from Alves’s cross from close range in the 14th before Cavani beat Danijel Subasic with a powerful downward header, sending the home crowd into raptures three minutes later.

SIDIBE INJURED

In the 20th, Di Maria beat the offside trap to collect Cavani’s through ball and lob over Subasic.

Seven minutes later, after a one-two with Cavani, Pastore whipped a perfect cross that Lo Celso headed home.

Monaco pulled one back, Lopes latching on to Almamy Toure’s cross from the right to score for the eighth consecutive time in Ligue 1 — a first in the French top flight since Shabani Nonda in 2003.

Monaco lost fullback Djibril Sidibe with a possible knee injury that could impact France ahead of the World Cup in June and July.

“I think it is a serious injury,” said Jardim.

PSG started the second half cautiously and Monaco seemed to be pushing for a comeback but Di Maria fired home from Pastore’s cross to kill all hope for Monaco.

Falcao headed home on a corner to beat his own keeper and Draxler added another goal with a powerful shot after another Pastore cross from the right.

It is the first time that Monaco have conceded seven goals in a top-flight game since 1974 and the heavy defeat prompted the club to offer to give fans their money back.

Earlier, Olympique de Marseille snatched a 3-2 comeback win at Troyes to stay fourth behind Lyon on goal difference.

Editing by Clare Fallon

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